As noticed by perfectstrat in the Fanshots, and as is currently on Twitter, the word is spreading that James Paxton has reached an agreement with the on a contract. There isn't any confirmation from any official sources just yet, so I can't say this is true with 100% certainty, but it appears to be legitimate, so in the event that it is, that's good news.
Paxton was the 37th overall pick in 2009, but you'll know him for being the Mariners' fourth-round pick in 2010. The 22-year-old southpaw was once considered the ace at the University of Kentucky, but the NCAA ruled him ineligible for his senior season so he went to the indy leagues, causing his draft stock to drop. Still, while some of the shine's off, he's young, he's talented, and he immediately becomes one of the organization's better pitching prospects.
Paxton works off a fastball in the low- to mid-90s, and reports say his breaking ball is effective but inconsistent. He also has a changeup, as he must, but his change doesn't get a lot of attention, implying that it isn't anything special. It's a potential-laden repertoire in need of further development if Paxton wants to stick in a starting rotation. I don't know what people think of his mechanics, but I'm also not very interested in what people think of his mechanics.
Here's what this really comes down to: I don't know a lot about James Paxton. You don't know a lot about James Paxton. The picture's kind of weird now that he's spent so much time away from college ball, and there are no guarantees that he even has success in the minors, let alone the Majors. But the Mariners saw fit to make Paxton their fourth-round pick last summer, and now - if the rumors are true - they get to add that talent to their system. The system's in better shape with Paxton than without him, and that's reason enough to be happy about this.
James Paxton fun fact: James Paxton was the 132nd overall pick in last year's draft. Other 132nd picks: current Mariner Chone Figgins, current Mariner NRI Sean Kazmar, and current Mariner minor leaguer Steven Hensley. Ron Gardenhire was the 132nd overall pick back in 1979.