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Breaking: Yankees acquire LHP James Paxton in exchange for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson, and OF Dom Thompson-Williams

The Yankees have made their first splash of the offseason by acquiring the Big Maple, James Paxton, from the Seattle Mariners. Fresh off his second-consecutive season at the top of the Mariner’s rotation, Paxton did not come cheap as the Yankees traded away their top prospect, Justus Sheffield, along with breakout prospects Erik Swanson and Dominic Thompson-Williams.

Yankees acquire Brandon Drury in three-team deal with Arizona, Tampa

 The New York Yankees have acquired 2B/3B Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal with the Tampa Bay Rays involved. In return, the Yankees sent second base prospect Nick Solak to Tampa, and they sent right-handed prospect Taylor Widener to Arizona. The deal was first reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
 
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vazquez | USA TODAY Sports
Drury, 25, provides the Yankees with a much needed MLB presence at second and third base while the Yankees wait for Miguel Andujar and super-prospect Gleyber Torres to develop in the minor leagues. Drury has put together back-to-back solid seasons with the DBacks where he has slashed .275/.323/.453 with 29 homers, 116 RBIs, 68 doubles, and three triples in 269 games.

Drury has experience playing second and third base, along with left and right field, so he will provide the Yankees with some valuable versatility in the field this season. Drury will also potentially have the opportunity to back Greg Bird up at first base as he is expected to move around quite a bit. However, the Yankees are said to believe that he will primarily play third, and that he has not yet reached his ceiling yet. The 6’2”, 210-pound right-handed stick will place in the bottom half of an already loaded Yankee lineup.

As for the prospects, Nick Solak was ranked as the MLB’s fifth ranked second baseman. The former second round pick had an impressive 2017 season where he slashed .297/.384/.452 with 12 bombs, 53 RBIs, 26 doubles, five triples, and 14 stolen bases. At age 23, Solak was set to begin this season in Triple-A with an outside shot of making the roster at some point this season. Now, he will join the massive rebuild that is underway in Tampa.

The Yankees are also parting ways with right-handed pitcher Taylor Widener, who was the club’s 14th ranked prospect at the end of last season. The 23-year-old pitched well in high-A Tampa last season going 7-8 with a 3.39 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and .206 BAA in 27 starts. Widener has the upside of a back-end starter, but could eventually find himself in a Major League bullpen down the road.

For now, this deal makes sense for the Yankees, and will prevent them from opening the season with two rookies in the infield. This will allow either Andujar or Torres, or both, to refine their tools in Triple-A, before eventually being called up as the summer approaches. This will also likely bode well for the Yankees as it will prevent them from starting their service clocks, allowing the club to hold onto them for another year, much like the Cubs elected to do with Kris Bryant. Drury should find himself playing nearly every day due to his versatility and solid stick, so this looks like a solid pickup for the Yankees.


Article by: Chad Raines

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