The New York Yankees finished off their season falling at the hands of the eventual World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox. Winning 100 games and losing in the playoffs should be considered a great season. The sting of not only finishing eight games out of first place but also getting bounced out the playoffs by your hated rival left a bad taste in mouth of the Yankees players and fans alike.
After it was over, the whole world was able to see that the Yankees needed a starting pitcher or two; at least a starting pitcher with some youth and great stuff for the playoff push they expect to be in.
With the free agent market looking less desirable than other off-seasons, a trade for that guy would probable be the best route.
Well, the Yankees did make a trade this past Monday, acquiring starting pitcher James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners. Seattle will receive three prospects in the deal including- pitchers Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson and outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams. Seems like a good trade on the surface, but how great is it?
Paxton went 11-6 with a 1.76 earned run average and 208 strikeouts in 2018. He throws a fastball that runs in the mid 90s that he can get swings and misses on, a sharp curveball that induces a ton of groundballs and a cutter.
The curveball should serve him well in Yankee Stadium seeing as how its where balls come to end up in stands. His fastball is good enough to get him out of tight situations.
As good as those numbers sound for Paxton, he’s clearly going to be behind Yankees ace Luis Severino and that shouldn’t have been what the team was looking for. They shouldn’t be thinking lets get another middling starter at age 29 with “potential” to be great. Paxton has no playoff experience and has never come close to pitching 200 innings.
The move itself is a good deal, getting a ready made starter that throws heat. The problem is, the Yankees should be looking for better starters than they have on the roster. Didn’t they do this already? Didn’t the Bronx Bombers send away a few prospects to acquire Sonny Gray last season for the same exact reason?
If the Yankees were going to trade for a guy, it should’ve been for a starter better than Severino. Why pull the trigger on a deal that will only make you marginally better and furthermore, why would you trade away the potential you had in Sheffield? It all seems like a reach to say “look we did something”.
New York can’t seriously come to their fans and say “We are trying to win a World Series” by making trades for these types of players. There were pitchers available in years past they could’ve made a deal for but passed on it because they were trying to keep their “good prospects”.
It’s not clear how they’re supposed to be better than the 100 wins they racked up last year or the Red Sox by making this move, but it’s a done deal so let’s see.