Jameson Taillon is great, but the Yankees cannot let the Blue Jays get Kyle Hendricks.
The New York Yankees added another risky option to their risk pile on Sunday afternoon, finalizing a trade for Pirates starter Jameson Taillon.
The 29-year-old has No. 2 upside, but hasn’t spent much time actually inhabiting that role in reality; Taillon’s pipe dream and platonic ideal is Kyle Hendricks’ bread and butter.
It’s hard not to approve of the high-risk, low-cost, medium-floor options the Yankees have added to their rotation picture this offseason, but they’re certainly lacking a clear and obvious running mate for Gerrit Cole, something Hendricks would qualify as beyond reproach.
If he stays in Chicago ’til the trade deadline? You shrug it off. You understand.
But if he ends up in Toronto, and your division rival picks up the surest thing on the market while you keep your entire top 10’s worth of prospects in your pocket, instead aiming objectively lower? That’d be unforgivable. And, according to a Blue Jays insider, things could be in motion; TSN’s Scott Mitchell confirmed on Sunday that Toronto is discussing some sort of Hendricks/Kris Bryant swap with a dissolving Chicago team.
Taillon is a cerebral addition to a deep Yankees rotation room, but he hasn’t provided a single inning since 2019. If the Yanks opted for the acquisition to view it as a roll of the dice, fine.
But if they believe their task is done after only unfurling the meaty middle of their top 30 prospects instead of biting a slightly more bitter pill, then Toronto has a pretty well-defined path to punking them.
Hendricks is an Eric Cressey conversationalist, which is the pathway that brought Corey Kluber to the Bronx a week ago. The dots were connected for us about a week ago, but all indications are there are no embers burning there at the moment.
Wait. Take your time. There are plenty of names for five spots, at this point.
But if Hendricks — or Luis Castillo, for that matter — is the name Toronto is able to swing to fix their only deficiency, then the Yankees have to do a 24-hour self-examination in the biggest mirror they can find.