Brewers Rumors: Why LHP James Paxton Would Be A Good Fit

Aug 15, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch during the top of the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) delivers a pitch during the top of the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Brewers haven’t yet added a starting pitcher this offseason and could take a chance from a injury bounceback candidate.

The Milwaukee Brewers generally aren’t the type of team, being from a smaller market, that gets into offseason signing battles with other team’s former aces. But when those former aces are trying to prove they are healthy enough to put a year full of injury in the rear view, things can sometimes change.

Former New York Yankee James Paxton recently had a throwing session in which 20 scouts from MLB teams were in attendance according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The current 2021 Unrestricted Free Agent had some back issues during the 2020 season in which he only appeared in five games finishing with a 1-1 win-loss record and a ERA at 6.64.

So why should the Brewers pursue Paxton and how would the veteran lefty fit in with the Brewers current starting rotation? For one thing the Yankees have been one of the main teams in the hunt for Trevor Bauer, making the return of Paxton less likely if the Yankees were to ink Bauer to a multiyear deal.

The biggest thing for the Brewers, though, is that Paxton could potentially be signed for lower than many sites have him projected coming off a year in which he was injured for the majority of a 60-game season with a back injury, making teams less likely to take the risk spending money on a pitcher who might not be fully healthy come opening day or during a whole 162-game campaign.

Should Paxton’s price tag end up coming down, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns could offer up a 1-2 year team friendly deal with a player option on a third year due to the budget constraints that the Brewers are facing this year.

Paxton is also a left-handed pitcher. The Brewers will almost definitely have righties Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Adrian Houser as solid members of the rotation followed by two spots that are most likely going to be filled by either righties Josh Lindblom, Freddy Peralta, or lefty Eric Lauer.

Although Lauer is a lefty with velocity, he did struggle a lot in his two starts, finishing the year with an ERA over 13. Having an already solidified lefty that is also arguably an ace would help solidify an already talent-filled Brewers starting rotation with four starters with nasty pitch mixes that could wreak havoc on to opposing hitters.

Paxton also has experience pitching for small market teams and having success with them. Before his time as a Yankee, Paxton was with the Seattle Mariners and dealing with them. In his six years with Seattle, Paxton had a record of 41-26, an ERA of 3.42, and a K/9 of 9.5.

A move for Paxton could be risky, but would come with a potentially very high reward. If you bring Paxton in and he remains injury-prone and inconsistent, a short contract could at least make it easier to move on. But if Paxton returns to his Seattle form, then you have one of the most dominant starting rotations in all of baseball, making the Brewers more of a contender in the NL.

Next. Should Brewers Try to Trade for Joey Gallo?. dark

The Brewers have been known to take shots on bounceback candidates in recent years. At the right price, this would be one who would have the potential to pay huge dividends.

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