Paxton Reportedly Inks
Do two tweets equate to some kind of confirmation in today’s world? We have one from a former teammate and one from a B.C. area radio personality, so that may qualify. James Paxton has signed, eight days after the date Josh Fields signed in 2009. That falls within deviation, I guess.
Most of what I said last June still holds true now. On the potential he showed two seasons ago, Paxton is easily in the top ten prospects of the system and maybe in the top five, but where Fields was still looking back to a recent college campaign, Paxton had all of 17.2 innings for Grand Prairie last season. Those innings did not constitute a return to form.
What’s next at this point is something that perhaps only Paxton, Boras, and some of the Mariners staff can guess at. We don’t know what kind of condition he’s in. Some Boras clients who have signed late came to camp ready to go. Pedro Alvarez, I seem to remember showing up to the Pirates camp out of shape. Paxton could end up joining the M’s for part of the Cactus League schedule or he could end up working with the coaches for a while and not get immediately assigned when camp breaks. His past history with various minor injuries might suggest the latter, along with a healthy dose of caution in handling him.
The 2009 version of Paxton is our best pitching prospect outside of Pineda. The ’10 version is more like a mid-rotation starter, if that, than a frontline one. Either would be a significant gain for us, though my feeling is that he might take a little longer to contribute than we might like.