A Honus Wagner card is going up for auction

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I always link to stories about Honus Wagner T-206 cards going up for auction because when I was a kid I was convinced I was going to find one if I looked around in junkyards, garage sales and flea markets long enough. I would have settled for a ’52 Mantle, but the Wagner was really what I was looking for.

That said, even if I had the means, I don’t think I’d get in on the action now. It’s just … too much:

The card being auctioned at Goldin’s is one of the three highest quality cards in existence. On a scale of 1 to 10, a card graded 8 was bought by Wayne Gretzky in 1991 for $451,000. After a handful of other collectors, it rests now with Ken Kendrick, owner of the the Arizona Diamondbacks, who paid $2.8 million for it in 2007.

Another card, with a 5 grade, was sold to an anonymous buyer in 2008 for $1.62 million.

The card at Goldin’s is also graded 5. It’s been in the hands of a private collector and locked in a bank vault for the past five years.

What a waste. Like this guy doesn’t have a bike with spokes?

I’m more surprised that Kendrick’s is the best quality one out there. While near-mint condition cards are great, you’d think he’d want something more gritty.

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.