PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 08: Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Blue Jays trade right-hander Hector Perez to Cincinnati by David Corcoran
There are reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are actively shopping pitcher Jameson Taillon, this is the type of acquisition the Blue Jays should aggressively pursue. The 29-year old does not come without risk, however, the potential reward Taillon carries is well worth the gamble.
According to Mark Feinsand of the MLB Network, the Pirates could move Taillon as early as this weekend as the Bucs are in full rebuild mode. There is no indication that the Blue Jays are actively pursuing the right-hander but it would not be out of character for the pitching starved Jays.
There was a recent update that the Yankees are said to be in talks with Pittsburgh and have emerged as the frontrunner, however, multiple team have reportedly made offers. Toronto definitely has the prospect capital and relationship with General Manager Ben Cherrington to consummate a deal if they are so inclined. Cherrington also has a vast knowledge of the Blue Jays farm system from his previous position with the club.
Taillon made just seven starts in 2019 before undergoing his second Tommy John surgery, however, all signs point to the hurler being healthy for the start of the 2021 campaign. His best season came in 2018 when he went 14-10 with a 3.20 earned run average and a 4.9 WAR in 32 starts for the Pirates.
In 82 career starts, the former 2nd overall pick sports a respectable 3.67 earned run average, 8.1 SO/9 rate and a career 8.8 WAR. Taillon earned $2.250 million last season but he is still arbitration eligible and will hit the open market until 2023.
There is no indication what the current asking price for Taillon is but a deal centered around catcher Gabriel Moreno and pitcher Adam Kloffenstein may get the two sides talking. There has been previous speculation that the Pirates are seeking a top-tier catching prospect in trade discussions this offseason so that would probably mean Alejandro Kirk over Moreno but who knows.
The Jays have been poised to make a trade all offseason so lets hope this is one they can complete. If healthy, Taillon can be a diamond in the rough.