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Mets Rumors: A red flag to consider with the James Paxton interest

Aug 20, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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Earlier this week, James Paxton’s name appeared alongside Jake Arrieta among the latest New York Mets rumors. Arrieta is going back to the Chicago Cubs. Paxton remains unsigned.

Mets fans know Paxton well from his last two seasons with the New York Yankees. After a successful 2019 season with the club, Paxton had a dreadful performance in 2020. In five starts, Big Maple was 1-1 with a nearly devilish 6.64 ERA.

It’s not a surprise to see Paxton’s name appear in offseason Mets rumors. At 57-33 lifetime with a 3.58 ERA and 9.9 strikeouts per nine and heading up, he’s a pitcher many teams should consider. However, there is one major red flag.

Mets rumors involving James Paxton should create caution

Although Paxton’s overall performance looks good, these Mets rumors do come with caution. Specifically, it’s Paxton’s ability to stay on the field. In parts of eight big league seasons, Paxton has never made 30 starts. In 2018, the 160.1 innings he pitched was a career-high.

Given what the Mets are looking for—a back-end rotation option—it’s not a complete turnoff. Paxton wouldn’t come to Flushing to merely eat innings. He’s a reliable arm when healthy.

Aside from the inability to stay off the IL, Paxton feels like a great one-year option for the Mets. Hand him a contract with a vesting option if he makes 25 starts and I can’t complain about the addition.

Do the Mets actually need a veteran starter?

Currently, the Mets are lined up to begin the year with a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, and one of the many depth additions they brought in. Mid-year, they should have Noah Syndergaard back thus pushing one guy down the depth chart.

It’s one of those “good problems” to have. With Seth Lugo already likely to be sidelined for the season’s opener, why stop adding now?

Next. A Matt Chapman trade should get you excited

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Acting GM Zack Scott made it known that the Mets aren’t done yet. Expect to see more Mets rumors between now and Opening Day. No stone will go unturned. No doghouse, henhouse, and outhouse will go unsearched for help.

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