Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

James Paxton to The Yankees - Fantasy Impact

The first major move of the 2018 MLB offseason was made on Monday night, as the Seattle Mariners sent James Paxton to the New York Yankees for Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson, and Dom Thompson-Williams.

By trading Paxton, the Mariners got a top-50 prospect in the lefty Sheffield, a controllable arm in the righty Swanson, and an athletic player in Thompson-Williams, but the Yankees got a second legitimate flamethrower behind Luis Severino. Even though Paxton has never thrown more than 160 innings in a season, his performance over the last three seasons puts him among the top left-handed pitchers in the game.

With Paxton headed to the Bronx and a top prospect on the move to the Pacific Northwest, what is the impact of this trade on the Mariners and Yankees?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


What Impact Will Paxton Have In Pinstripes?

With the World Series champion Red Sox possessing Chris Sale and David Price, the Astros with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, and the Indians (for the time being) with Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber, the Yankees knew they needed to add another top arm. They did just that by adding the 30-year-old Canadian Paxton, who was 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA last season, striking out 208 batters in 160 1/3 innings. His FIP was also strong at 3.23 and this season was coming off of a 2016 season where his FIP was 2.80 and a 2017 season where his FIP was 2.61. Paxton also only allowed 134 hits last season (including a no-hitter in Toronto against the Blue Jays), seeing his WHIP fall to a career-best 1.10.

The most impressive trait for Paxton is his strikeout ability, as he was seventh in swinging strike rate among pitchers with 160 innings thrown in 2017 at 14.3%.  He also led baseball in swing percentage (52.4%) and allowed just 82.1% contact in the strike zone (8th in baseball). Paxton saw his ERA go from 2.98 in 2017 to 3.76 in 2018 (more on that in a moment), but his xFIP (3.02) was actually better than in 2017 (3.25). His K-BB% of 25.7 was fifth in baseball last season and he had two pitches that were top-15 value (fastball and cutter), as well as a plus pitch with his curveball. He has lost a tick on his fastball velocity, from 97.4 in 2016 to 95.9 this season, but it has continued to be one of the better ones in baseball. All told, since 2016, Paxton's 2.90 FIP is fifth in baseball, his 1.16 WHIP is 17th in baseball, and his 28.2% K rate is 11th in baseball.

An issue for Paxton is his fly ball rate, as he allowed a 41.1% fly ball rate last season (13th-worst of those that pitched at least 160 innings), up from 30.1% in 2016 and 32.7% in 2017. He also allowed a career-worst 34% hard hit ball rate and his ground ball rate was 39.6%, his worst ratio as a professional. The cherry on top was the fact that he allowed 23 home runs in 2018 after allowing 18 home runs in the two previous seasons. Yes, he allowed a career-low 72.6% contact rate, but he needs to do better at missing barrels when he does allow contact. On the positive side, though, both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer did have worse fly ball ratios than Paxton. The worst thing about his batted ball trends, though, is that he will be moving from a pitcher's park in Seattle (27th in run factor) to a hitter's ballpark in New York (6th in run factor). There is also the fact that he allowed four runs in five innings in his only start in New York (June 21 of last season), allowing two homers in that game. While his fly ball rate was a bit better to close the season, he needs to watch his ratios now that he is in the Bronx.

Paxton's issue is his health, but, fortunately for the Yankees, he does not have a track record of shoulder or elbow injuries. His injuries have included a strained lat muscle, strained middle finger tendon, forearm strain or contusion and a back injury; none of these injuries were reoccurring either.  Also, while some may look at Paxton's lack of work due to injuries as a negative, this is still a 30-year-old that has not even pitched 600 big league innings. Signed through the 2020 season, look for Paxton to ink a long-term deal with the Yankees over the next two seasons and to flash SP2 potential with the Yankees. He will constantly be put in a good position for wins, but needs to monitor his fly ball rate in New York.


What Did The Mariners Get For Their Ace?

Any package from the Yankees was going to start with top prospect Sheffield, but it is surprising that the Mariners did not get any other players inside of the top-15 of the Yankees farm system. In fact, there are even questions on if Sheffield is even the ace that the Mariners could have been looking for. There were rumors that the Astros were close to a deal for Paxton, but were adamant that they would not trade Forrest Whitley.

With Sheffield, the Mariners are getting a 5'11 lefty with a stable of pitches that may match Paxton's; unfortunately, he isn't 6'4, 235 and also walked 12.5% of batters in Double-A and 9.9% in Triple-A. Command issues led to the Yankees delaying his promotion to the big leagues, no matter their starting pitching woes, and, when they did call him up, it was for just 2 2/3 innings as a reliever in September. His command issues continued in that small spell (three walks and four hits allowed), leading some to believe that he is an SP3 or high-end reliever rather than an ace in the future. He did also have a 2.48 ERA in 116 minor league innings, striking out 123 batters, so the potential is still there for him to be an impact player in 2019 and beyond.

As for Swanson and Thompson-Williams, there are things to like, but they are more lottery tickets than sure things. Swanson was acquired in the deal that sent Carlos Beltran to Texas in 2016 and he was 15-5 with a 3.24 ERA over the last two seasons spanning from High-A to Triple-A. In 2018, Swanson saw his strikeout numbers jump to 139 in 122 2/3 innings and his solid 4.07 K:BB rate in 357 minor league innings should lead to him being a part of the Mariners' rotation at some point in 2019 or early 2020 at the latest. Thompson-Williams was a 20/20 player in the low minors last season (22 home runs and 20 stolen bases between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa) and does have a .350 OBP in 897 plate appearances in the minors. At 24 in April, the Mariners will want to see if Thompson-Williams can handle a move up to Double-A to open the season and he could be a fourth OF in Seattle by 2021.


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Kyler Murray2 mins ago

No Timeline For Kyler Murray
Buffalo Bills7 mins ago

Von Miller On Schedule In His Recovery
Buffalo Bills11 mins ago

Sean McDermott To Call Defensive Plays
Aaron Rai15 mins ago

Brings Positive Momentum To Valero Texas Open
Javonte Williams18 mins ago

Making "Great Strides" In Recovery
Akshay Bhatia21 mins ago

Looks To Stay Hot In Texas
Hobie Harris29 mins ago

Makes Opening Day Roster
Tyrone Taylor45 mins ago

Hoping To Return In Mid-May
Adrian Houser51 mins ago

Likely To Open On Injured List
Jeff Hoffman57 mins ago

Released By Twins
Kris Bubic1 hour ago

Named Royals Fifth Starter
Sean Doolittle1 hour ago

Tanner Rainey To Continue Rehabbing
Hunter Gaddis1 hour ago

Expected To Enter Rotation
Josiah Gray1 hour ago

To Make Season Debut Saturday
Devin Duvernay1 hour ago

Expected To Return In 2023
Matthew Stafford2 hours ago

Won't Have Any Limitations
Trey Lance2 hours ago

Has A Chance To Regain Starting Job
Odell Beckham Jr.2 hours ago

Giants A Long Shot For Odell Beckham Jr.
DJ Chark2 hours ago

Undergoes Ankle Surgery
Michael Thomas2 hours ago

Making Progress In Recovery
Aaron Rodgers2 hours ago

Trade Could Involve Two Second-Round Picks
Irv Smith Jr.2 hours ago

Agrees To One-Year Deal With Bengals
César Hernández2 hours ago

Tigers Release Cesar Hernandez
James McCann3 hours ago

Likely To Open On Injured List
Mychal Givens3 hours ago

Headed To Injured List
Leody Taveras3 hours ago

Out Another Week
Sergio Romo3 hours ago

Officially Retires With Giants
Cristian Pache3 hours ago

Won't Be On Opening Day Roster
Daniel Hudson3 hours ago

Could Return In Late April
Tony Gonsolin3 hours ago

Dodgers Targeting Late-April Return For Tony Gonsolin
Nicolas Batum4 hours ago

Drops Eight Three-Point Bombs On Chicago
Nikola Jokic4 hours ago

Logs His 29th Triple-Double Of The Year
Tyrese Maxey4 hours ago

Leads Sixers Offense With 29 Points
Immanuel Quickley4 hours ago

Scores Career-High 40 Points
Bennedict Mathurin4 hours ago

Breaks Out Of Slump Monday
Jaden Ivey4 hours ago

Fills The Box Score Monday
Khris Middleton4 hours ago

Has Season-High 34 Points Monday
Lawson Crouse5 hours ago

Delivers Three Assists Monday
Leon Draisaitl5 hours ago

Takes Point Streak To Nine Games
Connor McDavid5 hours ago

Hits 140 Points For The Season
Cale Makar5 hours ago

Helps To Set Up Two Goals
Marc-Andre Fleury5 hours ago

Returns To Form Monday
Matthew Boldy5 hours ago

Scores Another Hat Trick
Trevor Zegras5 hours ago

Suffers A Lower-Body Injury
Daniel Bard12 hours ago

Still Off Monday
Blake Sabol13 hours ago

Made "Fantastic Impression" This Spring
Anthony Rendon13 hours ago

On Fire This Spring
Tyler Anderson13 hours ago

Wraps Up Strong Spring Monday
Miguel Rojas13 hours ago

' Two-Strike Approach Leading To Success
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander14 hours ago

Questionable Versus Charlotte
Ja Morant14 hours ago

Doubtful Versus Orlando
Terry Rozier15 hours ago

Out Again On Tuesday Evening
Gordon Hayward15 hours ago

Unlikely To Play Against OKC
Daniel Gafford15 hours ago

Dealing With A Sore Foot
Kyle Palmieri15 hours ago

Records Three Points Monday
Monte Morris15 hours ago

Uncertain For Tuesday Night
Kyle Kuzma15 hours ago

Remains Out Versus Boston
Gustav Forsling15 hours ago

Scores Twice Despite Florida Loss
Bradley Beal15 hours ago

Sidelined Again On Tuesday
Brady Tkachuk15 hours ago

Logs Two Points In Ottawa Win
New England Patriots15 hours ago

Jerod Mayo To Be Bill Belichick's Successor?
Buffalo Bills16 hours ago

Taylor Rapp Signs One-Year Deal With Bills
Jarrett Stidham16 hours ago

Broncos Think Jarrett Stidham Has Starting Potential
Gardner Minshew16 hours ago

To Compete For Starting Job
Mac Jones16 hours ago

Not Guaranteed To Start In 2023
Samaje Perine16 hours ago

Could Fill In As Starter
Justin Herbert16 hours ago

Chargers Confident They'll Keep Justin Herbert Long Term
Ezekiel Elliott17 hours ago

Cowboys Open To Re-Signing Ezekiel Elliott
Rashod Bateman18 hours ago

Will Be Running In Three Weeks
Maxi Kleber19 hours ago

Questionable On Monday
Jrue Holiday19 hours ago

Ruled Out Monday
Marcus Morris19 hours ago

Sr. Sitting Out On Monday
Karl-Anthony Towns19 hours ago

To Sit Out On Monday
Tyrese Haliburton19 hours ago

Won't Play On Monday
Myles Turner19 hours ago

Unavailable On Monday
Reilly Smith19 hours ago

Ruled Out For At Least Three Games
Erik Gudbranson19 hours ago

Won't Return This Season
Todd Gilliland20 hours ago

Impressive At COTA
Ville Husso20 hours ago

Could Be Done For The Season
Ty Gibbs20 hours ago

Finds His Footing At COTA
Robby Fabbri20 hours ago

Likely Finished For The Season
Troy Terry20 hours ago

Sits Out Monday's Game
Chris Buescher20 hours ago

Continues To Shine On Road Courses
Frank Vatrano20 hours ago

Returns To Ducks Lineup
NASCAR20 hours ago

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Finishes Seventh
Tage Thompson20 hours ago

A Game-Time Call For Monday
Austin Cindric21 hours ago

Has A Solid Day
Jonas Johansson21 hours ago

Tends Twine Monday In Anaheim
Sergei Bobrovsky21 hours ago

In Goal Monday Against Ottawa
Ilya Sorokin21 hours ago

Starting Monday
John Gibson21 hours ago

Minds The Crease For Ducks Monday
Marlon Vera1 day ago

Has Four-Fight Winning Streak Snapped
Cory Sandhagen1 day ago

Dominates Striking Department
Yana Santos1 day ago

Dominated In Decision Loss
Holly Holm1 day ago

Dominates In Co-Main Event
Austin Lingo1 day ago

Suffers Submission Loss
Nate Landwehr1 day ago

Shines With Second-Round Submission Win
Andrea Lee1 day ago

Suffers Defeat In Close Matchup Saturday
Maycee Barber1 day ago

Takes Close Matchup On Saturday
Chidi Njokuani1 day ago

Takes Close Loss In Split-Decision Showing
Albert Duraev1 day ago

Holds Off Opponent In Tight Split Decision
William Byron1 day ago

Rounds Out Top Five At COTA
Ross Chastain1 day ago

Caught Up To Fourth At COTA On Sunday
Alex Bowman1 day ago

Brings Home Third Place Finish At COTA
Kyle Busch1 day ago

Scrambles Up To Second At Austin
Tyler Reddick1 day ago

Dominates And Wins At COTA
Jordan Taylor3 days ago

Making NASCAR Debut At COTA, Will Start 4th
Austin Cindric3 days ago

Excited To Showcase Speed At COTA This Weekend
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Starts 28th At COTA For Sunday
Ricky Stenhouse Jr3 days ago

. In Middle Of Pack For COTA
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

Rough Patch In Qualifying On Saturday
Kyle Busch3 days ago

Starts Ninth For COTA Race On Sunday
Kyle Larson3 days ago

Could Be A Wildcard On Sunday
Noah Gragson3 days ago

Finds Way To Qualify 10th At COTA
Brad Keselowski3 days ago

A Few Seconds Off the COTA Pace
Ryan Blaney3 days ago

Begins 38th For Sunday's Race At COTA
Chase Briscoe3 days ago

Just A Little Off At COTA On Saturday
Cory Sandhagen4 days ago

Can Earn Back-To-Back Victories
Marlon Vera4 days ago

Finds Himself In Main-Event Spotlight Saturday
Yana Santos4 days ago

Looking For Biggest UFC Win Of Her Career
Holly Holm4 days ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Austin Lingo4 days ago

On Verge Of Three-Fight Winning Streak
Nate Landwehr4 days ago

Hoping For Third Straight Strong Performance
Maycee Barber5 days ago

Can Continue Her Flyweight Ascent
Andrea Lee5 days ago

In Need Of Victory To Keep Momentum Going
MMA5 days ago

Manel Kape On The Hunt For Fourth Straight Victory Saturday
Alex Perez5 days ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Albert Duraev5 days ago

Can Rebound With A Victory