Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are together again. The Yankees today acquired RHP Jameson Taillon, 29, from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handers Miguel Yajure and Roansy Contreras, infielder Maikol Escotto and outfielder Canaan Smith. Taillon joins a rotation that already features his former Pirates teammate Gerrit Cole, as well as Corey Kluber, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Jhoulys Chacin, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Michael King. Luis Severino will be back in July.
Taillon underwent flexor tendon repair surgery and "Tommy John" surgery in August 2019. He has made 82 starts over four Major League seasons with the Pirates (2016-19), going 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA (466.0IP, 464H, 202R/190ER, 117BB, 419K, 48HR). According to FanGraphs, among National Leaguers with at least 450.0IP since 2016, he ranks ninth with a 1.66 ground ball to fly ball ratio, 10th with a 32.7 outside the zone swing percentage, 11th with a 48.2% ground ball rate and 14th with a 19.5% soft contact rate.
In 466 innings, Taillon has a 3.67 ERA with a 3.55 FIP and a 1.247 WHIP. He has 419 strikeouts, 117 walks (9 intentional.) That's 8.1 K/IP and 2.3 BB/IP, a 3.58 K/BB ratio. He has an 8.8 WAR. While W-L isn't a great measure, the fact that he has a winnign record on bad Pirate teams tells you something. He is under control through 2022. He makes $2,250,000.
Yajure and Contreras are young RHPs who could help the Pirates, Yajure perhaps immediately. It hurt the Yankees to give up those guys, but Taillon helps them win now, and the Yankees have many hard-throwing young RHP.