About a week after Mariners Twitter erupted at an idea that James Paxton wanted to come back and Seattle said no, reports have confirmed that James Paxton will indeed return to the Seattle Mariners.
The deal was first reported by Chad Dey, who threw water on the validity of the initial “story”. Reaching out to us via Twitter, Dey wrote that Ryan Divish (the initial reporter) had “bad information”. It appears Dey, a friend of Paxton’s, was correct.
Paxton is a fan favorite and of course Mariners fans wasted no time celebrating on social media, welcoming “The Big Maple” home. Paxton pitched for the Mariners for parts of six seasons, was traded to the Yankees for, amongst others, Justus Sheffield. Now, Sheffield and Paxton will share a rotation, at least for part of the 2021 season.
Paxton’s deal is reported to be a 1-year contract worth $8.5 million, with $750,000 bonuses for making 10 and 20 starts respectively. It was rumored that Paxton was seeking $11 million guaranteed, so a contract that maxes out at $10 million while also protecting the Mariners is a win-win situation. The deal is still pending a physical and Paxton missed most of 2020 with the dread elbow injury, so nothing is guaranteed at this stage.