Hawk Harrelson is a finalist for the Ford Frick Award

61 Comments

I’m just gonna leave this here:

Hey, there are people who like Hawk. They are almost all White Sox fans who, when you press them, talk about Hawk as a “familiar voice” or someone with whom they have nice associations with White Sox baseball. Rarely, however, do they say that they actually think he’s a particularly good announcer. Just that they sort of like him. In this way Harrelson to his fans is a lot like “Fat Bottomed Girls” is for me. Something that makes me feel good when I hear it but, when asked to assess its actual merit in objective terms, well, I can’t really do it.

The Frick Award, though, is not about warm fuzzies felt by a minority of partisans. It’s presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for his or her “major contributions to baseball.”  I suppose his introduction of the term “he gone!” has some value — I’ve used that, like, three times on Twitter in the past four years, I believe — but I don’t know if it’s “major.”

Anyway, Good luck, Hawk. I’m sure you’re a nice man and that you’ll say interesting things if you win it.

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
35 Comments

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.