Agent Scott Boras says Yankees’ James Paxton ‘needed a few more months of rehab’ following back surgery

Yankees' James Paxton at Tampa 8 9 20Yankees' James Paxton at Tampa 8 9 20
Yankees’ James Paxton at Tampa 8 9 20
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="James Paxton’s 2020 season was one that he veteran left-hander would probably like to forget.” data-reactid=”23″>James Paxton’s 2020 season was one that he veteran left-hander would probably like to forget.

Working his way back from February back surgery, Paxton made just five starts for the Yankees before landing on the 60-day Injured List with a left forearm flexor strain, pitching to a 6.64 ERA while not looking like the same pitcher who won 15 games in 2019, his first with the Yankees.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But with Paxton set to hit the open market as a free agent, his agent Scott Boras spoke with Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, saying that Paxton now feels like the 2019 version of himself, but also that he tried to rush back from his back surgery without being fully healthy.” data-reactid=”25″>But with Paxton set to hit the open market as a free agent, his agent Scott Boras spoke with Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, saying that Paxton now feels like the 2019 version of himself, but also that he tried to rush back from his back surgery without being fully healthy.

“James is a real team guy,” Boras told NJ.com. “He made every effort to try to contribute this year, but the back rehab just wasn’t there yet and he just needed more time to where he could really go through his normal mechanics of 2019. He just couldn’t do that yet without having the rehab complete. Having this time, we’re now seeing the ball come out like it did before and all the other things.

“The truth of the matter was, his ability to be James Paxton, it just needed a few more months of rehab on his back and his strength. Getting the velocity, getting the balance and being able to torque his back the way it was, just after the surgery, he just needed time. That’s all. We’re seeing him back to normal now in his throwing. You can really see the difference.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Yankees definitely have some important decisions to make when it comes to their starting pitching staff, with Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ all set to hit free agency. There’s also the murky situation with Domingo German, who sat out the entire season due to a domestic violence suspension that carried over from late in the 2019 season.” data-reactid=”32″>The Yankees definitely have some important decisions to make when it comes to their starting pitching staff, with Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ all set to hit free agency. There’s also the murky situation with Domingo German, who sat out the entire season due to a domestic violence suspension that carried over from late in the 2019 season.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Yankees know they’ll have ace Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation, but Luis Severino will also be a question mark as he returns from Tommy John surgery. That leaves a group of players like Deivi Garcia, Jordan Montgomery and Clarke Schmidt, among other options.” data-reactid=”33″>The Yankees know they’ll have ace Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation, but Luis Severino will also be a question mark as he returns from Tommy John surgery. That leaves a group of players like Deivi Garcia, Jordan Montgomery and Clarke Schmidt, among other options.

But Paxton, if healthy, could give the Yankees another legitimate veteran for their rotation, should they elect to bring him back.

And if he’s healthy, that would certainly go a long way for the Bombers.

“He’s back to the James Paxton of ’19 in how he feels, how he’s throwing,” Boras said.

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