Phillies should consider deal for Pirates’ Jameson Taillon
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies should try to acquire Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon is reportedly on the trade block, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The Philadelphia Phillies should consider forming a trade with their Pennsylvania state rival to acquire the four-year veteran right-hander.
The Phillies have been exploring starting pitching options to complement Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin, and Spencer Howard in the rotation. They reportedly considered Jose Urena before he signed with the Detroit Tigers, and recently attended the workouts of veterans Anibal Sanchez and Julio Teheran.
Earlier this week, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that, ideally, the club would like to add some starting pitching depth: “Sometimes they are non-roster invitees that can come in and pitch,” he said. “But, I think that where we are, we have some young arms that we really like. I’m not sure how close they are to contributing right now. I think from an ideal perspective, it’s something we’re at least looking to see if we can find.”
Taillon could be their answer.
Taillon, 29, was drafted second overall in the 2010 draft out of The Woodlands High School in Texas. Across 82 starts since his June 2016 big-league debut, Taillon has gone 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA, 1.247 WHIP, and 419-117 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 466 innings. His best season came in 2018, going 14-10 with an MLB-best two complete games and one shutout, along with a 3.20 ERA, 1.178 WHIP and 179-46 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 32 starts and 191 innings.
The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2019 and missed the entire 2020 season. In December, the Pirates and Taillon avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.25 million contract.
According to Feinsand, there are “indications” that Taillon will be the next Pirates player to be dealt — possibly in a day or two. “The Pirates have already dealt Joe Musgrove this offseason, so it would not be a surprise if Taillon is moved, too,” he writes.
Taillon coming off of Tommy John surgery likely means it will not cost much to acquire him from the Pirates. The Phillies could use a change of scenery in the back-end of their starting rotation, while giving Vince Velasquez another shot to excel in a bullpen role.