According to multiple sources, the New York Yankees are the “apparent frontrunner” to land Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon in a trade. Although a deal hasn’t been completed, it’s expected a deal will happen within the next few days.
It’s not a shock that the Yankees are in serious trade talks as they need to boost their rotation and remove two players from the 40-man roster. Two spots need to be cleared off the 40-man to officially sign DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber.
Taillon missed most of the 2019 season and the entire 2020 season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. His last full season, 2018, saw him pitch to a 3.20 ERA with a 1.178 WHIP, 3.46 FIP, and a 122 ERA+.
Taillon would be an amazing fit in the Bronx for not just his talent but his salary. The 29-year-old is set to make just $2.25 million in 2021, a number that would boost the Yankees chances of staying under the luxury tax. It’s believed the team currently sits a few million dollars under the luxury tax after the signings of DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber, whose salaries will combine for $26 million in 2021. Including this season, Taillon has two years of team control remaining.
Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar are names that fans have speculated could be traded, but the Pirates reportedly have interest in acquiring a young catcher. That could mean current back-up Kyle Higashioka or even 2020 first-round pick Austin Wells could go the other way in a deal.
The Yankees have the assets to give the Pirates in a potential trade, so nothing should really stop an agreement from happening unless the Pirates receive a better offer. If the Yankees deal the right players, the team could get an amazing talent in Taillon and cut the payroll.