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Yankees acquire Jameson Taillon in trade with Pirates to bolster Gerrit Cole-led rotation

Yankees, Jameson Taillon, Corey Kluber, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees acquired right-handed starting pitcher Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, the Yankees announced.

Here are the details of the trade:

All four of the players going to Pittsburgh are minor league prospects.

Taillon spent five years with the Pirates, but he missed all of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery. Out of the four years he actually pitched, his best season came 2018 when he tossed 191.0 innings and boasted a solid 3.20 ERA and 3.46 FIP. He struck out 179 batters that year.

The Yankees are trying to build up their rotation behind ace Gerrit Cole, who was a teammate of Taillon’s for two seasons (2016, 2017) in Pittsburgh. New York recently signed two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. Like Taillon, Kluber is looking to bounce back from injuries.

It’s unclear if free agent Masahiro Tanaka will be back with the Yankees, and veteran J.A. Happ just left for the Minnesota Twins. There are a number of other candidates vying for a spot in New York’s rotation.

Via ESPN:

Besides Taillon and Kluber, the other candidates for the Yankees’ rotation include left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who has appeared in just 12 games since his 2018 Tommy John surgery, youngsters Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt, former All-Star Luis Severino, who missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, and Domingo German, who also missed the entire 2020 season while serving a suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Taillon should be good to go for the 2021 season. He’s excited for this new opportunity:

The Yankees went 33-27 last season to finish second place in the AL East. They beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in the AL Wild Card Series before losing 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series.

The Pirates are in rebuild mode. They finished 19-41 in 2020, which was the worst record in MLB.