UPDATE: Clay Buchholz on track for Yankees series despite back issue

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UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tells us that Buchholz will indeed start against the Yankees next week.

Apologies for the false alarm. Carry on, everyone.

2:02 PM: First the Yankees miss Dan Haren, now this?

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Red Sox manager Terry Francona indicated this morning that Clay Buchholz may miss his scheduled start next Wednesday against the Yankees due to concerns about discomfort in his lower back.

“I think the way he explained it was that it didn’t hurt, but I think it was on his mind that maybe it was going to hurt,” Francona said. “I think he was wondering if he was going to get to a certain point and it was going to grab at him, and it didn’t. I think we want to sit down with him and figure out the best way to go forward, whether it’s in five days or give him a couple extra days.”

Buchholz allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings last night in a no-decision against the Athletics. The 26-year-old right-hander is 4-3 with a 3.82 ERA and 49/26 K/BB ratio over his first 12 starts this season.

Tim Wakefield was scheduled to throw a bullpen session today just in case he’s needed to start against the Bombers next week.

Report: Yankees acquire James Paxton from the Mariners

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Yankees have acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners. Corey Brock of The Athletic reports that the Mariners will be receiving three prospects from the Yankees: 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 good return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worry 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. The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.