Well, one of the American League East heavyweights in the New York Yankees has already improved their team, acquiring James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners.
The lefty known as the Big Maple will bring his 11.9 combined fWAR from the last three years to the Big Maple, presenting another challenge for the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East for 2019.
James Paxton, a Canadian native, has turned into one of baseball best left-handed pitchers the last few seasons. In fact, since the start of the 2016 season, Paxton is the second most valuable left-handed starter in all of baseball behind only Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw. Pretty good company to keep.
The Blue Jays fanbase is likely going to have their irrational hate for Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins reignited as a Canadian wasn’t acquired by Canada’s only team. Just because a player is Canadian does not mean his citizenship should be a deciding factor in trying to acquire said Canadian. The timing of Paxton’s availability just does not make sense for the Blue Jays to go out and pay a high price for Paxton.
Paxton has two years left of control, he will be ready to hit the market at the end of the 2020 season. At 30 years old and just two years of control remaining, paying such a high price just doesn’t line up with the current timeline the Blue Jays are on. 2019 for the Jays is all about finding out what they have in their organization and who’s going to be surrounding the likes of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in 2020 and beyond.
Had James Paxton come with more years of control, say three or four seasons of control, the timing for such a big deal could make more sense and align with the next time the Blue Jays have a legitimate shot at being competitive with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
This trade wouldn’t be such a talking point if Paxton was moved to a team in the National League or a different division in the AL, but because it’s the Yankees who acquired him, this is sure to be a talking point for a few days among Blue Jays Twitter.
Just remember, the timing wasn’t right for such a trade and being Canadian shouldn’t be a factor into acquiring a player. It just sucks the Jays road will be even harder the next two seasons now that The Big Maple is in The Big Apple.