1) The Phillies are glad they didn't sign Jameson Taillon last offseason
The Phillies signed Taijuan Walker to a four-year deal worth $72 million. This felt like an overpay at the time, but that's really what starting pitching was going for. It's hard to find quality starters, and despite an awful start to his season which had Phillies fans wondering what if, Taijuan Walker has been a quality pitcher for much of the season.
The right-hander has a 4.02 ERA in 18 starts, including a 2.13 ERA in his last nine. He's been just fine as a fourth starter.
An option the Angels had for virtually the same price tag was Jameson Taillon. Had they signed Taillon, the Phillies would undoubtedly be looking at a larger deficit in the Wild Card standings.
The Cubs got Taillon for four years and $68 million. That's one million annually less than what Walker got. The Cubs have gotten a disastrous pitcher with their minor savings. Taillon has a 6.15 ERA in 15 starts and 71.2 innings pitched. His ERA was at 6.93 before delivering eight scoreless frames against his old team, the Yankees, right before the break.
The Cubs have gone just 3-12 in Taillon's starts while the Phillies have gone 13-5 in Walker's starts. Obviously the Phillies are a much better team than the Cubs, but Walker has also been a much better pitcher than Taillon despite signing virtually the exact same contract.