Back at the deadline, Cashman and Seatle’s GM Jerry Dipoto were interlocked in talks about Gardner and despite the fact that Seattle wasn’t willing to surrender Taijuan Walker, they were ready to move James Paxton.
After talks faded and the deadline passed, Paxton went on to maintain a 3.26 earned run average over nine starts in August and September with 56 strikeouts in 55.2 innings of work.
Overall, the oft-injured southpaw tossed a career-high 121 innings while his fastball velocity jumped from 94.94 miles an hour to 96.89 in 2016, according to Brooks Baseball.
Plus, Paxton developed a sinker which Brooks Baseball registers at a jaw-dropping 97.10 miles an hour while batters hit a mere .176 off his cutter. When healthy, it’s evident that Paxton is a steady threat to the opposition and on the flip side, Gardner would be an ideal fit for Seattle.
The Mariners’ options in left and center consist of Guillermo Heredia and Leonys Martin. In 2016, the left field position for the M’s had -22 defensive runs saved (DRS) and an ultimate zone rating (UZR) of -24.9.
I will probably take more than just Gardner to seduce Seattle into dealing Paxton, as they have a valuable asset in a league where solid left-handed pitching can be infrequent.