Mariners trade James Paxton to Yankees for 3 prospects, including LHP prospect Justus Sheffield

Nov 19, 2018, 2:43 PM | Updated: 3:36 pm
The Mariners have traded ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees. (AP)...
The Mariners have traded ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees. (AP)

The Mariners are making a habit out of completing blockbuster trades in the week of Thanksgiving

Two years after general manager Jerry Dipoto picked up All-Stars Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger from Arizona on the eve of Thanksgiving, the Mariners traded ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees for three prospects on Monday afternoon.

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Headlining the Mariners’ return for Paxton is 22-year-old southpaw Justus Sheffield, the Yankees’ top prospect. Also being sent to Seattle is outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams and right-handed pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, who turned 30 earlier this month, went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA, 208 strikeouts and 1.10 WHIP for the Mariners in 2018, including the first two complete games of his MLB career, the first of which was a no-hitter in his home country of Canada. A fourth-round selection by the Mariners in the 2010 MLB Draft who hails from just across the Canadian border in Ladner, British Columbia, Paxton spent six years in the majors with the Mariners, at times showing All-Star-caliber potential but also struggling with various injury woes.

Sheffield, 22, made his MLB debut in 2018, appearing in three games with the Yankees. Ranked the No. 31 overall prospect in baseball by, Sheffield can reach the upper 90s with his fastball and also features a slider and change-up. He had a 2.48 ERA, 123 strikeouts, 1.14 WHIP and .195 batting average against in 116 innings combined at Double-A (28 innings) and Triple-A (88 innings) last year.

Thompson-Williams, 23, posted a .299/.363/.546 slash line with 22 home runs and 74 RBIs in 100 games at Single-A and Double-A combined in 2018.

Swanson, 25, had a 2.66 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 121 2/3 innings (24 games, 22 starts) between Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A last season.

The Paxton trade is the second big move of the offseason by the Mariners, who sent catcher Mike Zunino to Tampa Bay in a five-player trade that brought back outfielder Mallex Smith to Seattle earlier this month.

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