ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes the Big Maple is signing a one-year contract worth $8.5 million, with bonuses that could bring the deal to $10 million.
Paxton began his career with the M’s in 2013 and pitched there for six seasons. On Nov. 19, 2018, the New York Yankees obtained Paxton for pitchers Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson, and outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams.
In 2019, Paxton recorded a career-high 29 starts, sported a 3.82 ERA, and registered 186 K’s in 150.2 innings pitched. Paxton pitched to a 3.46 ERA during the postseason. After a flop in ALCS Game 2, the Big Maple bounced back with a gutsy outing in Game 5 at Yankee Stadium to keep the season alive.
Yet, that would be the peak of his pinstripe career, injuries plagued him once again in 2020. Paxton made five starts and posted a 6.64 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched. He never quite looked right after offseason back surgery.
Dey also noted the Toronto Blue Jays were in contact with Paxton but never made a formal offer. Plus, the New York Mets and Yankees both made a push for Paxton but the latter wants to stay under the 2021 luxury tax and could still re-sign Brett Gardner.
So, what do we make of the Paxton deal? Well, he had a nice streaky run in 2019, and the aforementioned ALCS Game 5 but otherwise it seems like they could’ve made better use of those prospects elsewhere. Another disappointing “stuff guy” experiment gone bust.