Seattle Mariners lefty James Paxton is up for grabs, and New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman is one of the MLB executives circling like birds of prey.
When a bald eagle landed on James Paxton in early April 2018, it was a perfect foreshadowing of things to come.
#Yankees among teams that have spoken to #Mariners about a trade for LHP James Paxton, sources tell The Athletic. Paxton has two years of control left and is projected by @mlbtraderumors to earn $9M in arbitration next season. NYY also on free-agent LH starters Corbin, Happ, etc.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 9, 2018
Paxton won’t come cheap.
“The Mariners will start with Andujar or Florial,” the executive said. “[I] think the Yankees deny them there like the [sic] did with Gerrit Cole. Sheffield will be a definite. Albert Abreu could be in play, too.”
The 30-year-old Paxton put up solid numbers in 2018, finishing at 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.098 WHIP. He also threw a no-hitter in early May.
What has many teams salivating is Paxton’s ability to make opposing hitters swing and miss. The Canada native tossed just 160.1 innings in 2018, but he still struck out 208 batters.
Paxton isn’t the only potential Bombers trade target.
The Yankees have two rotation spots left to fill this offseason, and Brian Cashman seems to be looking at possible trades before committing to free agents like Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel.
The Cleveland Indians are shopping Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, which has drawn interest from New York.
#Astros on list of teams talking to #Mariners about a trade for LHP James Paxton, sources say. Market described as “active,” including HOU, NYY and a wide variety of other clubs. Paxton in his career against HOU: 2.89 ERA in 71 2/3 innings, .605 opponents’ OPS.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 11, 2018
San Francisco Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner has also been mentioned in rumors, and the Yankees could even consider signing Japanese import Yusei Kikuchi.
It’s no secret that the Yankees priority this offseason is starting pitching, and teams will ask for a ton.
It’ll be interesting to see just how far Cashman and his cronies are willing to go to get the arms they need.