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Seattle Mariners have traded James Paxton to the New York Yankees, per report

The first big deal of the offseason awards goes to the Yankees and Mariners as Seattle sends James Paxton to the Bronx.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Thus far, we have seen mostly smaller roster moves, trades to clear 40-man spots in preparation for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, and the finalization of moves that we all knew were coming. Sure, we had Kurt Suzuki signing a two-year deal with the Nationals earlier today and some well-known names like CC Sabathia and Adam Wainwright have been locked up, but for the most part the big moves have been lacking.

Well, that is....until today as the Mariners and Yankees got together on a deal that sends James Paxton to the Yankees.

When the Mariners announced that they were going to start exploring trades for some of their bigger assets like Paxton, it certainly got the attention of the league and fans alike. Paxton has some injury history, he also is among the better pitchers in the league when he is on. During the 2018 season, Paxton posted a 3.76 ERA with 208 strikeouts in 160.1 innings while on his way to a 2.9 rWAR season. In his career, he has posted a 3.42 ERA while striking out 9.5 batters every nine innings pitched against just 2.6 walks per nine. For a Yankees team that has been looking to upgrade its rotation in a significant way, this move definitely qualifies.

As for the return for the Mariners, the big prize here is Justus Sheffield as he has been considered for quite a while to be one of the better pitching prospects in baseball. It is also worth mentioning that his name has come up often when Yankees’ trade rumors have popped up. In 116 innings across two levels of the minors this season (Double-A and Triple-A), Sheffield posted a 2.48 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 50 walks.

The other prospects being sent back to the Mariners are Erik Swanson, a right-handed pitcher who struck out 139 batters in 121.1 innings this season and finished the year in Triple-A, and Don Thompson-Williams, and outfield prospect who is a former 5th round pick that posted a .909 OPS in the low minors in 2018.