Toronto Blue Jays: “Pass or Pursue” on 5 big-name free agents

George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Blue Jays
James Paxton #65 of the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

3. James Paxton

There has never been a better time to free Big Maple from the clutches of Gotham and bring him home.

Born in Ladner, B.C., Paxton is the perfect addition to bolster a Blue Jays rotation desperately in need of another top tier arm.

Paxton started his career with the Seattle Mariners in a rather nondescript fashion, but kicked it into another gear in 2017, going 12-5 in 24 starts with a 2.98 ERA.

One year later, he no-hit the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on just 99 pitches.

However, the trajectories of the Mariners and Paxton never aligned. So, as the Mariners tore down for a painful rebuild, Paxton was shipped to The Bronx.

There, he’d enjoy two up and down seasons with the Yankees, never regaining his sub-three ERA form and being put on the shelf midway through 2020 with a forearm injury.

With Paxton’s time with the Yankees going more the way of Sonny Gray and less the way of Gerrit Cole, the window is open for the Blue Jays to make a move.

He clearly likes the mound in Toronto, and would likely be more open to a move north of the border than his American counterparts. The big lefty would also balance out a Blue Jays rotation that skews right-handed.

Verdict: Pursue