Reports indicate the Pittsburgh Pirates could trade pitcher Jameson Taillon in the coming days. These three teams should try to acquire him.
You have to give the Pittsburgh Pirates some credit. The organization is extremely self aware that the team is nowhere near playoff contention in 2021. So, general manager Ben Cherington decided to start selling some major league talent to bolster their prospect pipeline.
Earlier this winter, the Pirates traded slugging first baseman Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean. Last week, the Pirates shocked the world by sending pitcher Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres in exchange for prospects Hudson Head, David Bednar, Omar Cruz, Drake Fellows and Endy Rodriguez in the three-team trade also including the New York Mets.
Cherington apparently isn’t done just yet According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and Adam Berry, there are indications that pitcher Jameson Taillon could be traded in the next day or so. Taillon hasn’t pitched since 2019 due to Tommy John surgery, but has outstanding potential. That, and he’s only owed $2.25 million this season and is under control for the 2022 campaign before hitting free agency.
Taking all of that into consideration, the Pirates could land a huge haul for Taillon. Here are the three teams who need to call Cherington right now.
Toronto Blue Jays
If this winter has showed you anything, it’s that the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t messing around. After making the postseason as the eighth-seed in the American League this past season, the Blue Jays wanted to build on their team to build a legitimate contender.
The Blue Jays were in on nearly every top free agent on the market, including New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu. But after losing out on him to their division rivals, the Blue Jays responded by giving outfielder George Springer a six-year, $150 million deal. Toronto has a stacked infield with Springer manning center field. But if there’s one weakness the team has, it’s at starting pitching.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is Toronto’s undisputed ace after he posted a 2.69 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 72 strikeouts over 67.0 innings pitched. Nate Pearson, the No. 6 prospect in the entire league, is slated to be the No. 2 option in the rotation. Behind him, the options aren’t thrilling. Ross Stripling, Tanner Roark and Robbie Ray (whom the team just re-signed this winter) all had ERA’s well above 5.80 last season. Sure, the Blue Jays have the potential to out-hit and out-score everyone, but they need solid pitching to make a deep run in the postseason.
The Blue Jays have the chance to compete for the AL East title, especially after the Tampa Bay Rays traded ace pitcher Blake Snell to the Padres and allowed Charlie Morton to sign with the Atlanta Braves. Now is Toronto’s time to strike, and they could become division favorites if they add Taillon to their rotation.