Yankees prospect Ty Hensley was allegedly attacked following an argument over signing bonuses

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We learned earlier today that Yankees prospect right-hander Ty Hensley was brutally attacked over the holidays and suffered “multiple facial fractures, including to his jaw, as well as multiple other head injuries.” Charges have been filed against 24-year-old Anthony Morales, who played football at Weber State and tried out for the Carolina Panthers last year. We now have more details about the alleged attack and they are almost hard to believe.

According to Anthony McCarron and Michael O’Keeffe of the New York Daily News, Hensley’s attorney, Jacob Diesselhorst said the alleged attack occurred following an argument over signing bonuses. Seriously. To be exact, Hensley refused to tell Morales how much he received as a signing bonus from the Yankees. This allegedly set Morales off:

Hensley had been hanging out a bar when one buddy asked him to join him at a wee-hours gathering at a friend’s place, according to court documents. Diesselhorst said the pitcher did not know his alleged assailant until they met a mutual acquaintance’s home in the Village, an Okahoma City suburb.

Witnesses told police they heard Hensley and Morales arguing about the amount of money athletes receive for signing with professional teams, the court papers said.

Diesslehorst said the attack occured after Hensley refused to tell Morales how much he received as a signing bonus after the Yankees selected him with the 30th pick of the 2012 draft.

Morales allegedly struck Hensley in the face, knocking him to the ground. The witnesses told police they saw Morales kick Hensley in the face before he fled from the house.

If only Morales knew that the information he was looking for was easily available on the internet and he didn’t have to beat someone up in order to acquire it.

Hensley, 21, was a first-round pick of the Yankees in 2012 and had his bonus adjusted from $1.6 million to $1.2 million due to abnormalities in his right shoulder. He missed all of 2013 and part of 2014 following surgery on both of his hips, so he wasn’t having much luck on the health front even before this incident. Diesselhorst said he believes Hensley will make a full recovery, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to resume baseball activities.

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.