The rumor mill is grinding out a potential Seattle Mariners signing of fourth-round 2010 draftee James Paxton, who spent 2010 pitching with the independent league Grand Praire Airhogs.
Paxton was a 2009 Toronto Blue Jays first rounder, a left-handed pitcher they couldn’t sign – a Scott Boras client, not surprisingly – but who was not allowed to return to the University of Kentucky.
Scouts say Paxton has a mid-90s fastball, a good breaking ball and inconsistent changeup, but that he lost valuable time last season because Boras made demands of a) Toronto and then b) Seattle that neither team accepted.
If Paxton signs now, it’s possible he could be invited to big-league camp but far more likely he’ll wind up in the Mariners minor league camp and then go on to pitch in the minor league system this season.
The Mariners, by the way, have no comment on Paxton.