The New York Yankees had a number one priority of re-signing second baseman DJ LeMahieu. After two months of the negotiations going nowhere, the Yankees finally signed a team and player-friendly contract that will see the batting champ remain in pinstripes for the next six-year. The Yankees got the deal done for $90 million. At that point, they knew about how much money they would have to spend on fixing the other big problem, pitching. Within hours of the DJ signing, the Yankees signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a low risk, high reward one year contract for $11 million. But general manager Brian Cashman knows the Yankees still need more pitching help.
Rumors during the offseason come and go, with most not panning out. But recently, the news of the Yankees being interested in Jameson Taillon is heating up. Taillon just signed a one year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates last year’s cellar team. The deal was for just over $2 million, an amount the New York Yankees could easily absorb. If the Yankees are truly interested in a trade with the Pirates, it’s doubtful that the Yankees would have to give up much. Maybe just Luis Gil and another prospect or two. The big question is whether the Pirates will let him go after losing Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres.
Last season the Pittsburgh Pirates were solidly at the rock bottom of baseball, finishing with the worst winning percentage in all of baseball (.317). The Pirates have no chance of competing this year either, so they might be willing to move Taillon for some good prospects, helping them build back up and at the same time helping the Yankees with aÂ present need. Taillon had a good season with the Pirates in 2018, but after just seven games in 2019, it was found that he required Tommy John surgery. He sat out the entire 2020 season rehabbing and should be ready to go in 2021 at the start of the season.
General manager Brian Cashman has a history of taking chances on previously injured players, as he has already done with Corey Kluber. In a worst-case scenario, both of these pitchers will be average pitchers, but there is also an excellent chance to excel for the Yankees and prove their worth with minor investment. If the New York Yankees can trade for Taillon, both he and Corey Klubler will become free agents at the end of the season. This will also give the Yankees a whole season to evaluate the returning pitchers Domingo German and Luis Severino and further develop prospects Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Michael King.
At just 29 years old, Taillon is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound pitcher and a former first-round pick back in 2010. He primarily utilizes a fastball, singer, slider, and curveball. He gets an impressive 50% ground ball rate, which plays well at Yankee Stadium. Beat writer Bryan Hoch singled out Taillon this week as someone that the Yanks have done a lot of due diligence on, which doesnâ€™t generally happen if the teamâ€™s plans arenâ€™t pointing in one direction. So should we be girding ourselves for a deal?