New York Yankees: Who should be the fifth starter with Paxton out?

James Paxton, New York Yankees. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
James Paxton, New York Yankees. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
New York Yankees
James Paxton, New York Yankees. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

James Paxton will be away from the New York Yankees for 3-4 months, as a result of offseason back surgery. Who should be the Bronx Bombers fifth starter?

The New York Yankees expected to come into Spring Training with one of the top rotations in baseball.This offseason, the Bronx Bombers acquired arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole. They added him to an already solid rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and James Paxton. J.A. Happ would’ve most likely been the fifth starter since last season’s surprise Domingo German remains out until the summer as he serves his domestic violence suspension.

Earlier this month, the Yankees revealed that Paxton’s going to be on the injured list for the first couple of months of the 2020 season. After undergoing back surgery for a disc problem, the New York Yankees expect Paxton to be out until some time near the All-Star break.

Anyone who has followed Big Maple’s career probably expected something like this to happen. Last season was his most durable. Paxton had personal bests of 29 games started and 15 wins, as well as a second-best 150.2 innings pitched.

Over his seven seasons of Major League service, Paxton has spent a good part of it, nursing various injuries. That was one of the reasons Seattle was willing to part with the hard-throwing lefty last winter. They didn’t want to pay him over $12M to spend half the year on the IL.

A spot is now open in the rotation with Paxton on the injured list, but luckily there are plenty of arms that could step in and contribute until he returns. Following the news, Yankees GM Brian Cashman came out and said that the No. 5 spot is going to be an “open competition.”

Let’s take a look at some of the possible replacements for Paxton.