The Yankees entered this offseason like they have most of them lately, searching for more pitching, and it feels like this time they will be entering the 2021 season with one of the deepest rotations they have had in years.
The latest addition is Jameson Taillon, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday for right-handed pitcher Roansy Contreras, infielder Maikol Escotto, outfielder Canaan Smith, and right-handed pitcher Miguel Yajure.
This comes after the Yankees have reportedly (but not officially) signed former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
They will follow ace Gerrit Cole in the rotation, giving the Yankees a formidable trio at the top, and then rounding out the rotation with Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Jonathan Loaisiga or Domingo German.
Taillon, 29, who was teammates with Cole in Pittsburgh, posted on Twitter (@JTaillon50) Sunday, "Bittersweet day for me over here! Trying to process everything - have SO much to say to the city of Pittsburgh and my teammates. Also have SO much to say about this incredible opportunity and to the city/fans in New York. Thanks to everyone that has reached out! more to come soon."
The right-hander made 82 starts over four seasons with the Pirates (2016-19) in which he went 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA (466 innings pitched, 464 hits, 202 runs/190 earned runs, 117 walks, 419 strikeouts, and 48 home runs). He last pitched in 2019, when he went 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA and 30 K's in seven starts before being placed on the injured list in May with a right elbow flexor tendon strain. On August 13, 2019, he underwent "Tommy John surgery" and also underwent flexor tendon repair surgery.
In 2018, Taillon posted his best season, as he had career bests in wins with 14, innings pitched (191), strikeouts (179), and ERA (3.20). He ranked ninth in the National League in ERA, tied for ninth in wins and ranked 11th in innings pitched, while leading all Pittsburgh pitchers in starts (32), innings pitched, and strikeouts.
Taillon was selected by the Pirates with the second overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of The Woodlands (Texas) High School.
Biographies of the players the Yankees sent to the Pirates (provided by the Yankees):
Roansy Contreras, 21, owns a 16-11 record with a 3.25 ERA (249.1IP, 90ER) over three minor league seasons (2017-19). The Yamasá, D.R., native did not pitch in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster on November 20, 2020. The right-handed pitcher was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2016.
Maikol Escotto, 18, made his professional debut in 2019 and batted .315/.429/.552 (57-for-181) with 47R, 11 doubles, 4 triples, 8HR, 26RBI, 32BB and 13SB in 45 games with the DSL Yankees. The right-handed hitter did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boca Chica, D.R., native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2018.
Canaan Smith, 21, has hit .280 (221-for-788) with 109R, 50 doubles, 4 triples, 19HR, 118RBI, 139BB and 21SB over three minor league seasons (2017-19). The left-handed batter did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dallas, Tex., native was originally drafted by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft.
Miguel Yajure, 22, saw his first Major League action in 2020, posting a 1.29 ERA (7.0IP, 1ER) in three relief appearances over three stints (8/20-31, 9/4-5 and 9/25-26) with the Yankees. In four minor league seasons (2015-16, ’18-19), the right-handed pitcher has gone 14-13 with a 2.47 ERA (291.2IP, 80ER) in 61 games (54 starts). The Cabimas, Venezuela, native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on March 5, 2015.