As the hot stove season begins to take shape, we’ve already heard tons of names thrown around the rumor mill, and that will only continue as teams get set for the upcoming winter meetings in December. One name that has been mentioned quite often already(due to the Seattle Mariners willingness to deal almost anyone), is Mariners ace James Paxton.
The left-hander had yet another fine season and will surely be of interest to almost any contending team looking for a front of the rotation starter. In 160.1 innings pitched, he posted an 11-6 record with a 3.76ERA and 208 strikeouts to go along with peripherals that say he was better than his bottom-line results(3.24FIP, 3.02xFIP). Baseball-reference pegged him at 2.9WAR while fangraphs had him higher at 3.8. Those numbers will surely get the Mariners a quality return in a trade with anyone.
The New York Yankees and Houston Astros are among the most notable teams to have expressed interest in Paxton and both have strong farm systems that can easily get a deal done. The Mariners have several needs on the roster with limited payroll space to use plus their farm system is among the worst in the entire league, which makes getting a solid return for Paxton all the more important.
It’s also worth mentioning hypothetically that a few other teams that could be interested in Paxton could be the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, both of whom have expressed interest in acquiring a top starter and boast strong farm systems as well, the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics, two teams that badly need rotation help(although Seattle may not want to deal with division rivals), and perhaps even the Reds, another team that could use rotation help.
He is arguably the biggest trade chip Seattle has at the moment and Jerry Dipoto never stops dealing, so expect “dealin Dipoto” to get something for his ace at the winter meetings.