Juan Samuel is sticking with the Orioles

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I always wondered what happened to interim managers when they were replaced. You always hear about them being reassigned and stuff, but I had always assumed that was a euphemism for what I suspect really happened to them: getting rolled up in a carpet and dumped in a ravine someplace.  In light of that, I’ve always considered being an interim manager only a slightly more desirable job than being the #2 guy in Al Qaeda: a shaky-at-best gig that lasted only until you heard the drones coming for you.

But not so with Juan Samuel!  He’s sticking with the Orioles after Buck Showalter takes over and, according to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, he’ll be scouting in the Dominican Republic.  Of course he’s from the Dominican Republic so this could very well be a “go home, relax, get paid, and if we hear from you we hear from you” kind of gig.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to write another letter to that nice family in the country my parents sent our dog to live with back in 1981.  I hope Old Ben is still happy chasing rabbits all day!

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.