The 5 Most Valubale Trade Assets on the Seattle Mariners
Number 2: James Paxton
Starting pitching is hard to come by, especially in the middle of a playoff race. In addition, the 2018 free agent class is weak in 1 particular department: starting pitching. If James Paxton can stay healthy in 2018, the Mariners have an opportunity to cash in on their ace either this summer or in the offseason.
Obviously, in this scenario, the Mariners are likely in a rebuild mode. But as counterintuitive as it seems, the Mariners could speed up their rebuild by shipping off one of their best players. Look at the Chicago White Sox.
No not the Chris Sale trade. Paxton isn’t quite on his level. Rather, look at the Jose Quintana trade. The White Sox got Eloy Jiminez and Dylan Cease for their underrated lefty. Now, Quintana isn’t the best comp. After all, he has been able to string together 200 inning seasons year after year. Meanwhile, Paxton’s career high for innings in the big leagues is 136. But Paxton is pitch for pitch, better than Quintana.
The more accurate comp for Paxton might be Sonny Gray. If you recall, the Oakland A’s traded Gray to the Yankees in exchange for Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo, and James Kaprielian. If the Mariners had gotten the same package for Paxton, Mateo would be the best prospect in the Mariners system, Fowler the 3rd best, and Kaprielian the 5th.
We have actually written a few proposals for Paxton in the past and used the Sonny Gray deal as our working comparison. As painful as it might be to stomach, moving Paxton this July could be the best way to maximize his value, and jump-start the Mariners “slow burn rebuild”.