Athletics present Dallas Braden with a diamond ring

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Dallas Braden logo.jpgThe Athletics celebrated “Dallas Braden Day” on Friday to commemorate the pitcher’s perfect game against the Rays on May 9, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

As part of the celebration, the team presented him with a diamond ring, complete with 51 diamonds on the front — for his uniform number — and 27 diamonds along the edges — for the 27 outs he recorded en route to the 19th perfect game in major league history. Yes, Billy Beane went to Jared’s.

I’m currently searching for a picture of the ring, but all I have right now is Landon Powell and Braden standing near a pretty nifty logo on the left field wall. It’ll have to do.

According to Jane Lee and Alex Espinoza of MLB.com, his
grandmother was presented with a matching pendant
. You can watch her throw out the first pitch here. Like Dallas, she’s a southpaw.

Braden has dropped each of his last two starts since throwing the perfect game. He left Wednesday’s game against the Tigers due to illness, but is expected to make his next start.

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

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The Yankees announced that the club has acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a solid return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worries about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field, and Paxton’s durability. Paxton has made more than 20 starts in a season just twice in his career — the last two years (24 and 28). The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.