Jameson Taillon might not be the biggest free agent that the New York Yankees have to deal with this offseason but he still is a notable one. While fans are caught up in the ongoing Aaron Judge saga that is changing at every turn, the news dropped that Taillon would no longer be putting on the pinstripes.
Well — the Yankees pinstripes, that is. Taillon is turning in his Yankees pinstripes to return to the National League central to don the Chicago Cubs pinstripes. Taillon signed a four-year deal with the same team that signed Cody Bellinger earlier in the day.
Taillon was already projected to be out of the Yankees’ price range for his services and he somehow managed to net an even bigger deal than people were expecting. Taillon’s four-year deal is reportedly worth $68 million, paying him a hefty $17 million a season.
While Taillon certainly had great moments in the Bronx, most fans would probably admit that $17 million is a bit rich for what he brings to the table. Taillon has been an average big-league pitcher by every definition. In fact, he has posted exactly a 100 ERA+ in each of the last two seasons.
The pitching market is drying up for the Yankees with Jameson Taillon leaving.
Judge might be the biggest focus right now but the Yankees would still be pressed to add a starting pitcher to replace Taillon in the rotation. Japanese sensation Kodai Senga is still a viable option for New York but outside of that, the other options are drying up.
The starting pitching middle class has all signed during the Winter Meetings. The likes of Andrew Heaney, Taijuan Walker and Vince Velazquez all signed on Tuesday before Taillon. The mid-tier options now consist of Noah Syndergaard, Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling, to name a few.
It will be interesting to watch from afar if the Cubs can get a $17 million impact out of Taillon next season and beyond. After all, he did put together his best season since 2018.
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Regardless of if he does or not, it was clear that the Yankees were not in a situation to spend $68 million on a middle-of-the-rotation arm, especially while Judge remains unsigned.