The New York Yankees came into this off-season needing pitching help, and that's exactly what they just acquired via trade with the Seattle Mariners.
James Paxton was traded to the Yankees in exchange for their top pitching prospect, Justus Sheffield. The Mariners also received two other minor league prospects in addition to Sheffield.
The Mariners received outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams and right-handed pitcher Erik Swanson. Both players are expected to be projects for the Mariners, but both are expected to be able to eventually make an impact on the team.
This dovetails with what I've heard from a number of evaluators. Sheffield's upside, they believe, is mitigated by his ability to consistently throw strikes.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 19, 2018
Erik Swanson, they believe, is a swingman type. He's 25. And Dom Thompson-Williams, an OF, is seen as an org type. https://t.co/TjdOIXeJxr
The Yankees should be ecstatic with the acquisition of Paxton. They got one of the best pitchers in the American League. Last season, he owned a ERA of 3.76 with a WHIP of 1.098 in 28 games.
Paxton carried the Mariners pitching staff all season long. He lead the team in fewest earned runs allowed, strikeouts and WHIP. He also led the team in strikeouts per nine innings while also finishing third in the AL in that same category.
The pitching rotation for the Yankees will be a lot stronger with Paxton added to it next season. He is expected to slide into the number two spot in the rotation behind, Luis Severino at the start of next season.
The Yankees will also have Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia to fill out two of the remaining three spots in the rotation. Sabathia will be returning for his 19th season in the MLB. While Tanaka will be returning for his sixth season in the league, since coming over from Japan.
Paxton will be under contract for another two seasons, which will mean the Yankees will have a good sample size to go off of if they feel like he is worth keeping around beyond that. The team has also stated that they aren't done looking for pitchers to fill out the rest of their rotation.
They are looking to add through free agency or via trade like with Paxton. But with the MLB off-season just underway, it'll be interesting to see how the Yankees fill out the rest of their starting rotation, and the rest of their roster.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The acquisition of Paxton to the Yankees means that they're going to be a very complete team next season. With him in their rotation, the Yankees will now have a very effective one, two punch pair of pitchers at the top of their rotation.
Severino will need to build off of what was an inconsistent season moving forward. In order for the Yankees to compete against not only the Boston Red Sox in the AL East division, but with the rest of the league as well.