With Spring Training inching closer and closer, the hot stove is cooking up more MLB breaking news in the form of two more big-name free agent signings.
Starting Pitcher James Paxton heads back to the Pacific Northwest, signing with his old team, the Seattle Mariners, for a one-year deal worth $8.5 million.
Paxton had a strong six years with Seattle dating back to his rookie year in 2013 including throwing a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in his home country of Canada. In the offseason of 2018, he was traded to the Yankees in exchange for a package of players including young starting pitcher Justus Sheffield.
Seattle’s rotation now looks very interesting with Paxton back in the mix. At the top of the rotation, there are now three lefties that all have the ability to be the ace of the team. Marco Gonzales is still the favorite to hold the position and Justus Sheffield made an impressive jump in 2020 showing he may be ready to lead.
Paxton brings a sense of leadership to the rotation as the oldest starter Seattle has. Regardless of who gets the ace position, Seattle now has a potent, and all lefty, 1-2-3 punch in the rotation.
Injury concerns are always a topic that comes up when discussing James Paxton. Paxton has been injured in five of the seven full seasons he has played. Most recently, Paxton had surgery in 2020 to remove a cyst from his back. Seattle is aware of his injury history but the risk is low for the Mariners as they signed him to only a one-year deal.
The Mariners have made the MLB breaking news headlines a bit as they recently acquired the services of reliever Ken Giles to help a bullpen that struggled heavily in 2020.
This was not the only MLB breaking news, as Justin Turner comes to terms with the defending World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers on a two-year $34 million deal.
Turner signs with the Dodgers keeping with the team that he has played with for the previous seven seasons. He has been a mainstay for the team at third base for the last few years and played a solid role in the Dodgers winning the World Series in 2020.
There are some concerns around Turner due to his age. He is currently 36 years old and this signing will have him until he is 38. Turner has been known as a “late bloomer” since coming to the Dodgers. He struggled before coming over to the west coast in 2014. Once he joined the Dodgers, his stats rose steadily, batting over .300 in four of seven seasons with Los Angeles.
For Los Angeles, they retain a player who has been a staple of their team for years and holds down the corner position for another couple of years. With Kike Hernandez’s departure to Boston, the Dodgers needed to make sure they didn’t lose another infielder who can play both corner infield positions.
The Dodgers have been big spenders already this offseason. They bolstered an already strong starting rotation by adding the 2020 AL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer to the rotation for a three-year deal earlier.
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