LA Angels: 3 reasons to pursue James Paxton in free agency

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The Angels need big name starting pitching, but they also have an entire rotation to fill out.

James Paxton was a disappointment in New York over his two years as a Yankee, but after an injury riddled 2020 I believe that he will be able to be a bounce back candidate and will be a solid option for the middle of the rotation.

James Paxton was very impressive when he came into the league in late 2013 for a cup of coffee with the Mariners, but until 2016 he was middling with quite a few unfortunate injuries. He dealt with a lat strain in 2014, and in 2015 he landed on the Injured List with a strained tendon on his middle finger on his throwing hand.

In 2016 he had his first completely healthy season which turned out to be a much better season for Paxton, over 121 innings pitched he had a 3.79 ERA and a 2.80 FIP. He struck out 8.7 batters per nine and put up a career best 1.79 BB/9. In 2017, Paxton had his best season of his career putting up a 2.98 ERA and a 2.61 FIP but landed on the injured list twice with a forearm strain on his throwing arm and a left pectoral strain.

Ever since he has been getting a little worse, but as of 2019 he was a very serviceable option for the Yankees.

Paxton’s 2020 started off with extreme difficulty to get to speed in the first place, because in February he dealt with a surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst and was slated to be out 3-4 months which would have made him miss opening day for the Yankees, but of course the season was pushed back. He was able to make the opening day roster in late July, he made five starts before landing on the 60-day Injured List with a left flexor strain.

Over Paxton’s career, he has struggled to stay healthy but when he has, especially recently, he has been a very serviceable 3-4 starter which would provide good depth for the Angels in a very deprived rotation.

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