Seattle Mariners trade James Paxton. Deja vu or re-imagining?

James Paxton, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
James Paxton, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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James Paxton’s Mariners career

Paxton made his major league debut in 2013 as a September call-up. It was a preview of things to come. He started four games, going 3-0, with a 1.50 ERA. Over the next five seasons, he worked his way up from 13 starts in 2014 to a career-high 28, last season.

His numbers in Seattle were outstanding. Paxton was 41-26 over 582.1 innings. He had a 3.42 ERA with, 617 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP. The problem with Paxton was that he couldn’t stay healthy for an entire season. The 6′ 4″ lefty has never won more than 12 games (2017) or pitched over 160.2 innings (2018) in a single season.

There’s little doubt that James Paxton at times was a dominant talent, with an explosive arm. Last season he was clearly the ace of the staff whenever he stepped on the mound. Including such gems as last seasons no-hitter in Toronto. Unfortunately, the number of times he actually stepped on the mound, was increasingly difficult to predict throughout his career. Without him, Seattle’s rotation is weakened.

However, it’s important for many of us, to take a step back and set aside the assumption that this trade signals yet another full rebuild, with yet another decade or so of a playoff drought.