Seattle Mariners: 3 reasons why bringing back James Paxton makes sense

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James Paxton of the New York Yankees in action in game five of the American League Championship Series. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
James Paxton of the New York Yankees in action in game five of the American League Championship Series. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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After being traded to the Yankees from the Mariners, James Paxton’s career in New York looks to be over. So, should Seattle consider bringing the fan-favorite lefty back?

On November 19th, 2018 the Mariners traded their ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees for Justus Sheffield, Dom Thompson-Williams, and Erik Swanson. It was a move that signaled the beginning of the end for the core group of Paxton, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Felix Hernandez, and Jean Segura.

It was a simple “competing team gets a star” type of move, while the rebuilding team gets top prospects. The trade looked to be in the Yankees favor towards the end of 2019, but after failing to make the World Series despite Paxton’s great year, and then a 2020 that saw very little of Paxton due to injury and a lot of great outings for Justus Sheffield, it looks like the Mariners won the trade.

Paxton will now hit the open market in a few days and he carries an impressive resume with him. In 6 years with the Mariners Paxton never had an ERA over 3.76 and only had a FIP over 4 once. Then he had a masterful 2019 with the Yankees starting 29 games with a 3.82 ERA playing in one of the worst parks for pitchers.

However, Paxton only pitched 5 games in 2020 due to injury and had a 6.64 ERA in those 4 starts. Paxton’s 2020 got off to a rough start when he had a microscopic lumbar discectomy to remove a peridiscal cyst in February and his recovery time would have kept him out until May or June if there were a normal baseball season. He then had a grade 1 flexor strain that kept him out all of September and the Playoffs.

So with all of this going on in the recent past for James Paxton, why should the Mariners consider bringing him back to Seattle?

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