The Yankees have traded for Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton, the team confirmed on Monday.
New York will send a trio of prospects in the deal, according to MLB.com’s Greg Johns. The package is headlined by starting pitchers Justus Sheffield and Erik Swanson and also includes outfielder Don Thompson-Williams. Sheffield is the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect per MLB.com.
Paxton went 11–6 in 2018 with a 3.76 ERA. He struck out 208 batters and led the MLB in complete games. The six-year veteran has a 3.42 career ERA. The Mariners’ ace was a coveted starter on the trade market, with the Astros reportedly in competition with the Yankees for his services per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
New York ranked No. 5 in the American League in ERA in 2018. Three of the Yankees’ starters ended the year with 10-plus wins and were led by a 19–8 season from Luis Severino. But don’t expect New York to end its rotation additions just yet. The Yankees “remain interested” in Patrick Corbin and J.A Happ per the MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, placing a “higher priority” on improving their pitching staff than adding Manny Machado or Bryce Harper in free agenct.
Sheffield started 15 games for Triple A Scaranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, tallying a 2.86 ERA. The lefty struck out 84 batters in 86 innings. Swanson is the Yankees’ No. 22 prospect per MLB.com. He combined for 121.2 innings for Scaranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double A Trenton, posting a 2.66 ERA. Williams is a career .270 minor-league hitter, tallying 22 homers and 74 RBI last season
The Mariners ended 2018 with a 89–73 record for third place in the AL West. The Yankees won 100 games for the first time since 2009 but lost to the Red Sox in the ALCS.