Wanna buy a house from a ballplayer?

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In honor of the beginning of spring training, Realtor.com has assembled a page of listings of homes of several former and current ballplayers.  The players: Adrian Beltre, Pat Burrell, Matt Cain, Barry Larkin, Derek Lowe, Jack McDowell, Jamie Moyer, John Smoltz — whose home we’ve featured previously — and Jonathan Papelbon.  There are links to several more pictures of each house at the bottom of the page.

Takeaways:

  • Moyer’s is a tudor-style mansion. It is not, as is commonly believed, an actual tudor-era home, built under his personal supervision in the year 1587, though it could be. Because Jamie Moyer is old. Get it? He’s old! Hahaha! Ah, ahem. Sorry.
  • Pat Burrell’s house in Scottsdale is exactly as I would have expected for a guy with his swingin’ single reputation. I believe he purchased it from Austin Powers.
  • I was disappointed to read on Jonathan Papelbon’s Wikipedia page that he has two children, because I was hoping that the kid-friendly design of his home was all for him. Like he was Ricky Schroeder in “Silver Spoons” or something.

Overall: ballplayers in general have a lot of damn money and spend it on pretty fabulous real estate and because I have something of a real estate fetish I wish I was rich like baseball players are sometimes. There, I said it.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.