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Masahiro Tanaka is back in Japan and J.A. Happ is now with the Twins.

Meanwhile, the other free agent pitcher from last year’s Yankee rotation, James Paxton, is still a free agent. The left-hander is coming off another injury-plagued year, but according to his workout partner this offseason – Matthew Boyd of the Detroit Tigers – Paxton looks like an “ace.”

“Whoever gets him is going to get a steal,’’ Boyd said this week on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.

“He is pumping the ball right now. He looks better than he ever has. We dove into some stuff, breaking down fastballs and understanding spin direction and all that. His ball just takes off. It’s fun to catch. I’m hoping he ends up in a Tigers uniform or something like that.”

Paxton, 32, had an up-and-down two seasons in The Bronx after arriving in a trade that sent Justus Sheffield and two other prospects to the Mariners.

He pitched well when healthy in 2019, but dealt with a left knee injury that landed him on the injured list.

Last season, Paxton underwent lower back surgery during the initial spring training and then suffered a left forearm flexor strain. He pitched just five times and was shut down by the end of August. 

But Boyd, who was once a potential trade target of the Yankees, is confident his fellow southpaw is going to bounce back.

“Whoever gets him, they’re getting an ace,” Boyd said.

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