Just Keep Sellin': Pirates Trade Jameson Taillon to the Yankees

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Just Keep Sellin’: Pirates Trade Jameson Taillon to the Yankees

Chicago Cubs

The rumors began in earnest last night, and a deal is apparently already done. The New York Yankees are bolstering their rotation with a trade for starter Jameson Taillon, as the Pirates continue the sort of teardown that might make even Cubs executives blush.

To remind you, they’ve already traded their top projected starter (according to ZiPS), Joe Musgrove, to the Padres and now they’ve traded their next best starter, James Taillon, to the Yankees. If they’re not careful, their rotation might soon have fewer pitchers than the Cubs!

I’m kidding, I’m kidding … the Cubs will have fewer.

Oh, and don’t forget, they traded Josh Bell, too.

The Yankees rotation, meanwhile, now features Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, Michael King, Domingo German, Luis Severino (eventually), and Taillon. So that’s no small addition. They could legitimately use the help (plenty of upside, but plenty of risk in there due to injuries).

And as Brett mentioned this morning, when he’s been healthy, Taillon, 29, has been really good. He’s also still fairly young and under affordable team control via arbitration for the next two seasons.

In return for all of that, the Pirates got … well, an easier path to Tank City, as well as a payroll that’s dipping under $40 million. But from the Yankees, specifically, they also received righties Miguel Yajure (15th ranked prospect in the Yankees system) and Raonsy Contreras (19th) as well as 18-year-old second-baseman Maikol Escotto and 21-year-old outfielder Canaan Smith.

I can’t pretend to know much of anything about this collection of prospects who haven’t played above A-Ball, but it’s pretty easy to classify this return as one focusing on a very distant future. In a sense, the youth and distance to the big leagues actually makes this package remind me a bit of the Cubs return for Yu Darvish. But again, I just don’t know a ton about these guys … not to mention the fact that the lack of a 2020 minor league season makes it even tougher to know what the Pirates are getting.

As for the NL Central … whatever.

This move obviously makes the Pirates worse, but they were already almost certainly the worst team in baseball. The entire division is trying to sink as low as possible, but the Pirates are certainly way down there at the bottom. So this doesn’t really change the expected landscape of the division all that much.


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami