After acquiring Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates, are the Yankees done making moves for the offseason?
Spring Training is right around the corner with pitchers and catchers set to report in mid-February, and before the baseball season gets underway, the Yankees have added to their already-strong roster over the past week and a half.
Yankees Grab Taillon
The Bombers acquired righty Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday morning for a package of four prospects. Taillon didn’t pitch in 2020 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, which is obviously a concern as to how he’d fare in 2021. One positive about Taillon, though, is that in his last full season — 2018 — he had ace-like numbers. He made 32 starts and pitched 191.0 innings, going 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA and striking out 179.
If healthy, Taillon would be a welcome number-three starter behind former teammate Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber. Now that the Yankees have added two new arms within the past few days, are the Pinstripers done for the offseason, or will they still be looking to improve heading into February?
Bullpen Help on the Way?
In an unusual situation for the Yanks, the team’s bullpen isn’t as daunting as it has been the past few years. The constants in the ‘pen consist of Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman, and Zack Britton, but after that, the arms are far less of a sure thing. Adam Ottavino took a major step back last season and Tommy Kahnle signed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers as he recovers from Tommy John Surgery.
Thankfully for the Yanks, there are some names on the free-agent market that can make a difference, specifically Jake McGee, Keone Kela, and Sean Doolittle. It’s been clear that the Yankees are trying to limit their spending this winter, but signing any of the guys mentioned to a one-year deal really shouldn’t hurt the wallet.
There are rumors linking the Yankees to free-agents like Yasiel Puig and Marcell Ozuna. These rumors might raise some eyebrows and beg the question “why would the Yankees need another righty-swinging outfielder?” The only case where something like this may make sense is if the Bombers plan on dealing Clint Frazier for a big bullpen piece or maybe even another starter like Luis Castillo. It’ll be interesting to see if the Yankees’ interest in Puig or Ozuna is legitimate or just due diligence.
Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks leading into camp, it’s worth noting that Brian Cashman has put together a very solid offseason, even if it’s happened in the past couple of weeks. Between re-signing DJ LeMahieu and adding starters Kluber and Taillon, the Bombers are gearing up for another strong run. Only time will tell, however, if the moves made will end up being the right ones.