Multiple sources have reported that the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates have discussed a potential trade involving Josh Bell and Jameson Taillon of the Pirates.
The Yankees are in need of starting pitching and a left-handed hitter, and a trade could take care of those needs. However, it could come at the expense of Yankee first baseman Luke Voit.
Bell, a first baseman himself, is a left-handed power-hitting first baseman. He was an all-star in 2019, hitting 37 home runs, driving in 116, and recording an OPS of nearly .950. Bell struggled in 2020, hitting just eight home runs with an OPS well under .700. Many of baseball’s stars struggled in 2020, so it’s not something that could be a dealbreaker.
The big issue with Bell is his defense. Since his 2019 debut, Bell has a -7.0 dWAR and -37 defensive runs saved. In short, he’s a horrendous defender.
If the Yankees were to acquire Bell, they would have to make a decision: either play Bell at first, or DH him. Right now, the Yankees are planning to DH Giancarlo Stanton, but that could change if Bell becomes a Yankee. If they were to play Bell at first, it would likely be the end of the Luke Voit era. Bell would be the starter, and Voit doesn’t deserve to be on the bench. With the value that Voit provides, it makes you wonder what the Yankees are thinking by potentially pursuing Bell.
On the other hand, acquiring Jameson Taillon could help fill one of the spots in the Yankee rotation. Taillon has been on the IL since May of 2019, undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career.
But when healthy, Taillon is a very steady pitcher. He has a career 3.67 ERA, 3.55 FIP, and 1.247 WHIP. His fastball velocity sits around 95mph while his off-speed pitches average around 88mph.
Taillon could be a solid option for the Yankees in the middle of the rotation. He has two more years of team control, and makes a lot of sense for the Yankees.