Taking a look at why the New York Yankees should invest in a James Paxton extension.
When it comes to starting pitching, health is predominantly a significant factor, and lefty pitcher James Paxton has faced his fair share of issues in the category. This offseason he underwent surgery to remove a cyst from his lower back and was projected to return in early-May. He made great progress this offseason and would have returned within his allotted recovery timetable.
However, Paxton’s injuries have made extending him a question worth considering. Letting him walk in free agency and bringing in a player with better health-history could be the efficient move, but Paxton proved his worth in 2019, overcoming his anxiety in the playoffs and dominating in the final half of the regular season.
He finished last year with a 3.82 ERA, his highest in 2018 (also his first season with the Yankees, which played a part). After a troublesome first half of 2019, Paxton bounced back and showed why he was a coveted signing, to begin with. The Yankees can trust him moving forward on the mound, and extending him wouldn’t cost too much at the end of the day.
SNY’s Andy Martino believes Hal Steinbrenner could find a way to keep him in Pintsrpires:
We’ll have to see how he fares during a shortened walk year. If he’s really good, here’s betting that Scott Boras can find a team willing to pay more than the Yankees. But the Yanks do like Paxton and wouldn’t mind finding a way to bring him back. It will all depend on the demand for him and the price.
Boras is a highly respected agent and is at the pinnacle of major deals in baseball, indicating that Paxton could earn himself a nice deal with a different team if he puts on a show in a shorted 2020 campaign. After his surgery, though, I would imagine working his way back into full-form will take a few weeks of live-action, which could easily set him back and give the Yankees an opportunity to sign him on a friendly extension.