The Jameson Taillon Signing and the Cubs as a Pitcher Destination

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The Jameson Taillon Signing and the Cubs as a Pitcher Destination

Chicago Cubs

You get so wrapped up in “Transaction Mode” this time of year that you don’t always have as much time to linger on any one transaction; or you don’t have as much as you’d like, anyway.

I really appreciated that Bryan did a deep dive on how the Chicago Cubs might work with Jameson Taillon, because it was probably my favorite thing that I read on the four-year, $68 million signing. A signing that, because it took place at the Winter Meetings – a very crazy and busy Winter Meetings! – and because it was immediately followed by a week of next-level obsessing about the shortstop market, didn’t get a TON of attention. I don’t know that we ever really put into context just how substantial the deal is, relative to how we perceive the signing.

Consider that there are only 21 starting pitchers in baseball signed to multi-year deals with an AAV higher than Taillon’s $17 million. That’s it. The signing is the 15th largest overall this offseason, and 6th largest for a starting pitcher (behind Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon, Kodai Senga, and Taijuan Walker).

None of that is to say this is a MONSTER contract for the Cubs. That’s not my point. The point is only that, for a signing that was one of the bigger ones of the offseason, and now has Taillon among the highest starting pitcher AAVs out there, we kinda moved on quickly to talk about some other things. Understandable given the timing, but I guess I just want to note that this is a really solid starting pitcher who chose to sign with the Cubs at this moment in time, and then also share something Taillon said upon joining the Cubs.

“I heard great things about (pitching coach) Tommy (Hottovy) and (assistant pitching coach Daniel) Moskos,” Taillon said at his introductory press conference, per The Athletic. “I heard really great things about the app the Cubs have built out, Ivy. It seems like a really great fit. All the feedback I got was that if you have the opportunity to play there, you really have to take it.”

That last part is what really stood out to me. A top-ish starting pitcher free agent kept hearing that if he had a chance to play for the Chicago Cubs, he had to take it. The Cubs are a destination for some pitchers. And players talk.

It doesn’t hurt that the Cubs ponied up some money, I’m sure, but I think it’s worth underscoring that Taillon is an example of a guy who probably still has another gear, even at 31, and he wanted to be with the Cubs to try to take that step. It’s a reputation the Cubs are cultivating among pitchers.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.