Rumors about the Seattle Mariners have said today that everyone is available for trade this offseason including big lefty James Paxton. Could the Milwaukee Brewers put together a package to pick him up?
Who is James Paxton?
Paxton, 29, replaced Felix Hernandez as the ace in the Seattle rotation this season and pitched well on a 89 win Mariners team. He had an 11-6 record with a team high 208 strikeouts, along with a 3.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
On May 8th, he throw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays, a rare feat for a Canadian born pitcher to complete a no-no in his home country of Canada.
His four-seam fastball has some heat as it averaged about 96 miles per hour in 2018. However that’s not his only good pitch as his changeup, cutter, and curve are all dangerous strikeout pitches.
Why make the trade?
A lot has been made of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching situation over the last year and playoffs. Paxton would give you that ace pitcher to go along with a rotation that would feature Jhoulys Chacin, and more than likely Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and either Zach Davies or Chase Anderson.
Paxton is left handed, which is something the Brewers currently lack in their rotation going into next season. That provides added value for what he’ll bring to the table.
He also has two years of team control, and will be entering his 30s with less than 600 innings pitched in the majors. His arm should be fresh for the next several seasons.
Why not make the trade?
Getting Paxton won’t be cheap, the Mariners are in a full rebuild mode with only make a couple guys untouchable this offseason. David Stearns could package a deal together, but the Mariners will want a top line pitching and hitting prospect.
While Paxton has put up some nice seasons, he hasn’t proven that he can make all the starts. He’s yet to make 30 starts in a season and pitch more than 160 innings. Paying a steep prospect price for an “ace” that hasn’t proven to be a workhorse doesn’t sound like an effective long-term strategy.
Would David Stearns part with Burnes or Keston Hiura for Paxton? Only time will tell but this off-season is already starting to heat up and we haven’t enter the winter meetings.
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The Milwaukee Brewers will likely be looking everywhere for pitching upgrades this winter and Paxton is just one place to look with the Mariners beginning a rebuild.