Mariners Sign James Paxton

It took a year and a half, but James Paxton finally got paid. The Mariners announced the signing of the 2010 fourth round pick and, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America, the deal is worth $942.5K (Twitter links

The Blue Jays selected Paxton 37th overall in the first round of the 2009 draft, but didn't sign him. The left-hander turned down slot money (approximately $874K), according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Paxton spent the 2010 season with the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the independent American Association after the NCAA ruled that he wasn’t eligible to resume his college career at the University of Kentucky. 

Though most draftees have to sign by the middle of August, the deadline doesn’t apply to college seniors or players drafted out of independent leagues. ESPN.com's Keith Law first reported that the sides were close to a deal and Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times first reported the agreement.


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89 Comments on "Mariners Sign James Paxton"


nietzschesass
4 years 5 months ago

What year was Paxton in?
Does “College juniors who don’t sign are available in the next draft” means that they can start their senior year under NCAA rules? But Paxton wasn’t eligible? What made him ineligible?

roguesaw
4 years 5 months ago

Scott Boras

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

his relationship with scott boras got him banned

nietzschesass
4 years 5 months ago

So that quote includes “unless juniors are not contacted by agents?” But aren’t most of prospect college players have agents these days?

4 years 4 months ago

I believe most of them have “advisors.” Which is code for “agents.”

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

As a Canadian and a Blue Jays fan, is it wrong for me to want to see this kid fail?

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

yes, he was a kid and was influence by Boras in to making a mistake

doesnt mean hes a bad kid or that you should be happy if he fails

Manny_Lee
4 years 5 months ago

Plus Beeston….

CrustyJuggler
4 years 4 months ago

I still AND WILL ALWAYS think that the Morrow for League/Chavez deal was related to the Cliff Lee deal. I very much believe that Morrow was intended to be part of the Lee deal but it may have delayed the talks (guessing) and Jack wanted the deal done quickly. Why else would the Morrow trade happen a week or two after the big Lee deal? AA and Jack had some verbal sidelines that promised Morrow to Toronto for some assembly of yet known players. Players who eventually turned out to be League and Johermyn Chavez.

Its very logical once you think about it. Jack Z KNEW he was getting an absolute STEAL with sending the garbage he did to Philly for Lee. He would obviously want to get that trade consummated ASAP to prevent other GMs from seeing the crap Seattle was offering for Lee and one-up them. It also makes sense that the Jays would get more that Drabek, d’Arnaud and Taylor for the best pitcher in baseball at the time. Throw Morrow in there and it again, makes sense that it was just supposed to be a bigger 3-team trade that was broken down into two separate deals.

Seattle gets:
Lee
League
Chavez

Philly gets:
Halladay
Aumont
Ramirez
Gillies

Toronto gets:
Morrow
Drabek
Taylor
d’Arnaud

So Seattle would then have dealt Morrow, Aumont, Ramirez, and Gillies for Lee, League and Chavez. Makes more sense, doesn’t it.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

makes sense..

the morrow trade just looks one sided now only because chavez hasn’t hit the majors yet..

I’m not sure why there isn’t more hype about that kid…. 32 dingers and a .964 ops… the deal will look a lot more even once he hits the bigs

scott4
4 years 4 months ago

It’s called hitting in High Desert. Chavez does look good, but lets see if he can pump out 25 or jacks in Jackson this year, then I will jump on his bandwagon.

Troy Sowden
4 years 4 months ago

yikes. As an M’s fan there’s just no way Paxton’s upside is anything approaching Morrow’s. Paxton is maybe a #2 in an absolutely perfect world. Morrow’s a Cy Young winner in that world.

Now, i don’t think either of them will ever be anything approaching those levels, but that’s where the respective ceilings are.

BTW, I don’t want Morrow to fail. It’s not like he asked to be traded. I’m a big Z fan, but that was a terrible move.

4 years 4 months ago

Theres some risk with Paxton obviously sitting out but theres no way you can say Paxton doesn’t have Morrow ceiling why? Because Morrows fastball is flat it has no movement plus hes a walk machine. Id also like to add Morrow has Diabities who knows how badly this could affect him down the road (Im not sure if this will i just read it in an article.)

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

lol morrow’s fastball is flat?

u have no clue what you’re talking about.

when the guy is on, he’s un hittable

grownice
4 years 4 months ago

his fastball was flat, until the jays pitching coaches got a hold of him.

raffish
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t think Morrow is a Cy Young candidate. He’s proven thus far that he cannot command his fastball, and his secondary stuff is highly inconsistent. IMO, he will never have the control to consistently pitch deep into games or string together 30 stellar starts.

But I sure wish Jack hadn’t traded him. Every time he pitched I expected something special. I think Paxton has that kind of potential.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

Yup. A 3.16 FIP is definitely a number for a pitcher who is “highly inconsistant.”

Closed-minded Mariners fans need to get a clue.

raffish
4 years 4 months ago

Close-minded is using a single stat to support an argument, or name call in your case.

FIP is not an end-all-be-all stat. Any pitcher who throws gas can have a great FIP year– see: Loaiza, Esteban.

Brandon Morrow was never a low HR guy until last year. Lets see him keep that rate down in the 7% range again. And while we’re there, let’s see him keep the K’s up around 11%. And let’s see him average better than 5 2/3 IP/start. And not get injured.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Changing his arm slot angle has helped him become more of a pitcher than a thrower

It masks his slider better leading to more k’s, hitters are less sure of what they’re getting, leading to less opponent HR’s.

Also his arm strength and endurance issues could be a direct result of being mishandled previously in his career. Some stability should put an end to those issues.

raffish
4 years 4 months ago

For Brandon and Toronto’s sake, I hope you are right.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

FIP is not an end-all-be-all stat.

No, it isn’t. But it’s a stat to be heavily considered for how good he actually was in his first full year as a starter. Keep in mind too he had an unlucky .342 BABIP.

Brandon Morrow was never a low HR guy until last year.

2007: 3.8% FB/HR ratio

I will inarguably concede that he needs to follow up 2010 with a similar, if not better year to prove that he’s actually for real, but it looks as if he may be. Also, never did I intend “closed-minded” as “name calling” (RE: laugh), but rather saying he was inconsistant after a solid 4.06 BB/9.

raffish
4 years 4 months ago

Inconsistent: Morrow, Brandon

1. Length of Starts: four or fewer IP- (5); five to six IP- (14); seven+ IP- (6).

2. Month by Month stats:
April: whip (1.46); avg. (.248);
May: whip (1.69); avg. (.279)
June: whip (1.09); avg. (.218)
July: whip (1.57); avg. (.297)
Aug: whip (1.02); avg. (.189)

3. # of pitches/game: under 90 (8); 90-100 (10); 100+ (8).
Most pitches thrown: 137 (114 2nd most)
Fewest pitches thrown: 67 (71 2nd most, 79 3rd most)

4. Inconsistency between starts:
April: shelled twice, followed by three solid starts
May: lousy, awful, solid, awful, meh, strong
June: Four solid to great starts
July: bombed, bombed, nice, nice
Aug: awful, spectacular, weak, solid, solid
Sep: bombed

Most every one of his percentages improved in 2010, no question. Hopefully he can keep it up.

But don’t tell me he’s anything resembling a consistent pitcher. We have no idea what to expect when he takes the mound. He is special one game, dreadful the next. He can bookend one of the greatest outings in recent memory with two pukey ones. I’ve watched him pitch plenty. I’ve seen the good Brandon Morrow and the evil Brandon Morrow. The evil one showed up less often in 2010, but he’s far from banished.

If he could consistently put the ball where he wanted his stats wouldn’t look the way they do. He’s gotten better, but he’s still a grab bag special.

raffish
4 years 4 months ago

You better hope he keeps runners off the bases, stays ahead in the count, and pitches all his games at home, or he SUCKS. Or at least he’s inconsistent.

Embarrassed?

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

Out of all Brandon Morrow’s starts, there were only 4 starts where he was truly horrific: April 9th, April 25th, May 10th [was probably his worst], and his last start [BABIP was well over .500]. There are too many variables that can inflate a pitchers ERA, or AVG that are out of his hands.

Hence, again, I reiterate that his FIP and BABIP suggest that he was a better pitcher than his ERA indicates, and his ERA was a result of both bad luck, and below league-average range on defense. Taken from FanGraphs:

Shut down due to an innings limit earlier this month, Morrow’s first full season as a big league starter has been a smashing success for the Blue Jays, even if his ERA doesn’t necessarily agree. His 10.95 K/9 was by far the best by a pitcher with at least 140 IP (Yovani Gallardo and Jon Lester tied for second at 9.71), and even though his 4.06 BB/9 is a tad high, it did improve as the summer went on. A .348 BABIP is a little up there for a guy that gets swings-and-missed 11.0% of the time, and the 69.0% LOB% is a bit on the low side. Either way, there’s every reason to expect Morrow to continue to improve with experience, and he could be primed for a take-off next season.

WHIP
• 1st half: 1.41
• 2nd half 1.30 (marginal improvement, but noteworthy)

FIP
• 1st half: 3.44
• 2nd half: 2.78 (independantly pitched over half a run better)

While these examples don’t argue your points of consistancy, they do show that he was consistantly improving.

Again, I don’t disagree that if he regresses back to his Mariners self that 2010 was most likely an outlier, and he definitely needs to improve on the road.

raffish
4 years 4 months ago

Don’t get me wrong here: I’ve still got my Brandon Morrow bobblehead on display.

As for 1st half vs. 2nd half, I don’t know where you’re getting your numbers. If it is pre-All Star vs. post-All Star then there is great improvement. If you include part of June then the #’s look even better. But post-A*S the guy only pitched 46 innings. Hardly substantial evidence. He’s capable of a good run. Most pitchers are.

Back to my original point: he’s not a CY candidate because he’s not consistent. I’m not saying it’s impossible; it would be unforetold IMO.

WarvsBA
4 years 4 months ago

Correct hew not a Cy candidate. But the point was in a perfect world that’s his Ceiling, this is not a perfect world. Paxton perfect world would be lower then that. He went 37th overall to the Jays and they did not want to offer him for then slot. he went 4th round to Ms and they did not offer much more then the Jays. I know people hate morrow because he was picked higher then he should have been but on talent he was still a top 15 pick. That should end the debate on how scouts and teams fell about his ceilign

4 years 4 months ago

By the way im not wishing any ill well on Morrow as a Mariner fan i just don’t think hes that good. Time will tell and if im wrong i will admit.

Magorphenger
4 years 4 months ago

An unusually bitter Mariners thread.

HerbertAnchovy
4 years 4 months ago

Oh well, it’s obvious Ken Spliffey Jr. is an ignorant fool.

omavricko
4 years 4 months ago

Morrows ceiling with the mariners was collapsing. First a starter, than a closer, then starting again, then set up. He was going back and fourth and the M’s were too excited to have a talent like him. Really, we had no idea what we were doing with Morrow. He was gonna be dealt either way. So I actually like the trade. We get a good reliever and a power prospect. I thought it was fair.

Kyle Tomko
4 years 4 months ago

Guys lol Morrow throws 1 walk per every 1.9 strikeouts in his career numbers. and with The Blue Jays he threw 1 walk per every 2.6 strikeouts which is why his career number went up lol. I dont call those numbers Cy Young Potential. Morrow never had a chance in seattle because he was so inconsistant so we continued to move him from the SP to RP. For all those that say the Ms Fans have no idea what they are talking about…Come back and apologize when Morrow goes out there this year and gets lit up. Morrow has some bright moments for us too sure he threw 17 strikeouts congrats…ok now lets see him do it again…. Morrow always starts out the season rocky and ends kinda decent but an era of 4.49 isnt stellar….and if thats stellar then what is leagues 3.42 era he had for the Ms he also posted 1 BB per 2 Stike Outs…The trade was pretty equal and the Ms got a decent hitter aswell, so technically the Ms won the trade.. AND if you think Im wrong provide me with some actually information instead of talking out the wrong part of your body :)

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

lol I guess with nothing to look forward to being a mariners fan, everyone has opted to hope ex players fail in order to feel good about themselves..

Newsflash, even if Morrow does fail, it won’t make your team any less pathetic..

(minus felix and ichiro, they rule)

TorontoFan
4 years 4 months ago

Near the middle of the year was when Morrow started to come together. I forget what the actual stat was but it was something like for his last 15 games he has an era around 3.50. Also him home stats for the year was 8-1 with a 2.47 era and whip of 1.10 with a k/walk rate of more than 4. As well hes been working on a change up to add to his pitches this spring and so far the results are good.These are the numbers that make people believe he has the capabilities to be an ace.

4 years 4 months ago

Please don’t tell me you’re comparing a starter’s ERA to a relievers. Are you going to argue that Matt Cain’s ERA at 3.14 is garbage because Joakim Soria had a 1.78 ERA?

Kyle Tomko
4 years 4 months ago

Im simply showing the fact that a 4.49 is not great or cy young material

4 years 4 months ago

By…comparing it to League’s great/cy young 3.42 ERA? I still don’t see what you were trying to accomplish by doing that.

4 years 4 months ago

I didn’t think they allowed “fake tough guys” on this site…

4 years 4 months ago

What did I say that was tough?

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

the ellipsis after the word by looks pretty mean from here

4 years 4 months ago

It’s the RuPaul of big men!

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

haha one of my fave shaq quotes of all time!

Kyle Tomko
4 years 4 months ago

LOL I dont hope morrow fails…Like alot of people are saying we really dont care, but you all are over here saying that he has Cy Young Potential after seeing 1 year of medicore pitching. We saw 3 years of Medicore pitching and guess what no Cy Young Winner. As for our team being pathetic…..Look at the pot calling the kettle black last time you did anything good was almost 20 years ago….Thats nothing to brag about 😉

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

@Lunchbox45

I’m not sure when the change in mechanics took place, but I know in the first half he averaged 5 IP/GS, and in the second half he was 7⅓ IP/GS. Most of that is due to his walks being cut down from 4.4 BB/9 to 3.52.

RE: Disqus sucks.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

it took place at the beginning of the year but by all accounts he said it didn’t become comfortable until a month or 2 in to the season.

To me I think doubters look at Morrow and say well he’s 25 and had a mediocre year with some brilliant flashes..

If he was 22, people would doubt less. To me I think his development was set back because of the way he was handled, This is him finding himself and figuring it out… he projects more confidence in himself, he’s starting to believe how good he is.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

I may be a homer for understanding the health of a pitchers arm, but you would think that any pitcher being swapped from SP to RP and back would put some unfamiliar stress on it.

Kyle Tomko
4 years 4 months ago

Indestructible….I didnt start insisting that the Ms were better then the blue jays….I was simply just reply to the guy who said the Ms are pathetic and we have done just as much as the blue jays in the past 15yrs

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

Then apologies for misreading your comment.

rootlinuxusr
4 years 4 months ago

I think this makes Paxton the third Air Hogs’ player signed this off-season. Watched all of them a lot this summer(living in G.P. and all). Kid can pitch, but he’ll be rusty adjusting to major league pitching.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

Again one of the biggest Seattle fails and trust me, there are many, was drafting Morrow in the first place, Lincecum really wanted to be a Mariner, he was a huge Mariners fan as was his dad, and we won’t even get to the Randy Johnson fail, the Griffey fail, the A-Rod fail, the Slowecomb fail, I could go on, but recently, in my mind, Its the Morrow over Lincecum, that and winning one too many games and not having Stasburg in the rotation with Felix, can you imagine the M’s with Felix, Lincecum,Strasburg, and for the sake they actually tried to extend him after stealing him, Lee? just chew on that.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

If they drafted lincecum they wouldn’t have been in last to draft strasburg

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

They had Felix and finished almost last, point is they draft like poo.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

this story has been at the top of the homepage like fifteen times. i still haven’t read it or the thread and i feel like this is why

YOU CANNOT BREAK MY WILL, MISTER NICHOLSON. SMITH.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

they just kept bringing it back to the top of the page until you acknowledged it

now that you have done that it can be pushed down in to obscurity.

Braydon Gervais
4 years 4 months ago

Lmao dissing Canada…don’t be too quick to diss an organization that has two more world series titles than yours.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

Don’t get me wrong Ken Spliffey Jr, I am a huge Mariners fan, I grew up in Seattle, but that organization has pissed me off so many times, I remember all too well the players they failed to keep and just gave away because I wasn’t rich enough to go to Mariners games I would go to the Tacoma Rainiers games, I remember all of the players especially A-Rod, and Veritek, I wish someone who actually knows about baseball would take them over.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

I also dislike Ken Griffey Jr, he was a catalyst in the A-Rod fiasco.

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

you are both pretty immature to ‘hope’ for someone to fail just because they have left your organization..

especially more foolish for you because Morrow was traded.

and your last claim about Paxtons ceiling is laughable

4 years 5 months ago

Higher ceiling then Morrow? Last time I heard he when he was in the IAA he was out of shape and throwing 88-90 on his fastball. I don’t see him being a major contributor in the Major leagues and if he ever does make the Bigs he is most likely only going to be a 4th or 5th starter.

TheodoreRoosevelt
4 years 4 months ago

I wish Paxton the best, but he’d have to be a pretty special talent to top what Morrow did to the Rays on August 8th. That’s a heck of a ceiling to surpass.

4 years 4 months ago

While i agree that Paxton has a higher ceiling that comment about wanting Morrow to fail was to far.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

The really big fail was that the Mariners drafted Morrow over Lincecum, a WA ST hero who had the biggest desire to play for the Mariners, that to me was the biggest fail, local guys usually do pretty good for teams.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Way to take the highroad.

You have to admit tho, your interested to see what he signs for in Seattle in comparison to what the Jays offered.

damnitsderek
4 years 5 months ago

Just want to point out that this fool doesn’t represent the opinions of Seattle fans and that most of us wish Morrow the best in Toronto.

raffish
4 years 5 months ago

blah blah blah blah…

4 years 4 months ago

If he has been working out like he says he has been he can still hit 98 on the gun. He will probaly be rusty at being consistent at pitching at first but if he can work it out he can be a #2 or #3.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 4 months ago

wasn’t he in the IAA because he wasn’t allowed to go back to Kentucky. His stupidity in wanting more money and wasting a year in the Minors caused him to miss out, not his stuff.

m4r1n3r
4 years 4 months ago

I am one of the many who hated the Morrow trade and I loved seeing him come into form as a regular starter with the Jay’s last year. I think he’ll do even better this year. I do hope Paxton works out but I’m not holding my breath. Nothing tends to ‘work out’ when it comes to the Mariners.

TheodoreRoosevelt
4 years 4 months ago

Embarrassing.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Canada hates you too.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

Canada is a beautiful place and if you are really a fan of Seattle understand that BC is a huge supporter of the Mariners, keep on the west side not the east, and Canadians are the most friendly people, especially Toronto.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

so you’re admitting that you are bitter and pathetic?

thanks for clearing that up

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

find me one scout, one person anywhere who has written Paxton could be better than Morrow and I will send you 20 bucks, seriously 20 bucks canadian… which is like $20.50 USD these days

ju1ced
4 years 4 months ago

17 STRIKE OUTS, 1 HITTER. THAT’S A PRETTY HIGH CEILING.
It’s okay though, I’d be bitter too if my team gave away Morrow. rofl.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

no one cares

TDKnies
4 years 4 months ago

You got me good for a minute. Nice trolling, I really thought you were seriously this dumb. 😛

John McFadin
4 years 4 months ago

I feel pretty bad for you. It’s obvious you live with rich parents who have spoiled you until 35. You should probably start experimenting with what most of us call “real life.”

damnitsderek
4 years 4 months ago

Felix Hernandez worked out.

4 years 4 months ago

you idiot we had 116 wins toronto couldnt get a hundred wins with albert pujols and roy Halladay back

blizzah
4 years 4 months ago

Whens the last time Seattle was 500?

The Jays in the AL West would be favoured RIGHT NOW.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

did you get a trophy for that 116 wins?

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

I didn’t think so.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

Yeah and as a result he should be traded because he doesn’t “belong” in the Mariners organization.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

The best part of the Morrow trade is Jack Z received a great hitter in Joherym However you spell his name, who will make the Morrow trade a win for both clubs.

4 years 4 months ago

That thinking worked out really well for the Padres

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

I agree on most things you say

but your claim about where the best bermuda grass is grown I have to object… based solely on my time in b.c… plus… it tastes better when its illegal.

4 years 4 months ago

I’m pretty sure he was very much better than “just OK.” He had a 12.18 K/9, a 5.41 K/BB, 1.07 WHIP, 2.91 ERA and 2.08 FIP. That would generally be referred to as Un-freaking-believable.

seajtl
4 years 4 months ago

2 years ago

4 years 4 months ago

Except Bush wasn’t supposed to be a top pick. Everyone was shocked when the Ms passed on Lincecum.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

Because 116 wins and that slide didnt get them to the world series, if I remember correctly, Cleveland made a fool out of Seattle in 1995, and those pesky Yanks beat you guys in your “magical 116 win season”, only solace you can take from that is the Indians were defeated by the Braves and the Diamondbacks took out the Yanks.