The New York Yankees announced that they have acquired RHP Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Roansy Contreras, INF Maikol Escotto, OF Canaan Smith and RHP Miguel Yajure.
Taillon, 29, last pitched in 2019, going 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA (37.1 IP, 17 ER) and 30 strikeouts in seven starts for Pittsburgh before being placed on the injured list at the beginning of May with a right elbow flexor tendon strain. On Aug. 13, 2019, he underwent flexor tendon repair surgery and “Tommy John” surgery.
The Lakeland, Florida, native has made 82 starts over four Major League seasons with the Pirates (2016-19), going 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA (466.0 IP, 464 H, 202 R/190 ER, 117 BB, 419 K, 48 HR). According to FanGraphs, among National Leaguers with at least 450.0 innings pitched 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 percent ground-ball rate and 14th with a 19.5% soft-contact rate.
During the 2018 season, Taillon posted career bests in wins (14), innings pitched (191.0), strikeouts (179) and ERA (3.20). That season, he ranked ninth in the NL in ERA, tied for ninth in wins and ranked 11th in innings pitched, while leading all Pirates pitchers in starts (32), innings pitched and strikeouts. Among NL pitchers with at least 185.0 innings pitched, he ranked seventh with an 8.43 K/9.0 IP ratio. He held opponents to 3 earned runs or fewer in each of his final 22 starts of the season, one of two NL pitchers with as long a streak that year (Jacob deGrom, 29 straight).
Taillon was originally selected by Pittsburgh out of The Woodlands (Texas) High School in the first round (second overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Contreras, 21, owns a 16-11 record with a 3.25 ERA (249.1 IP, 90 ER) over three Minor League seasons (2017-19). The Yamasá, Dominican Republic, native did not pitch in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster on Nov. 20, 2020. The right-handed pitcher was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2016.
Escotto, 18, made his professional debut in 2019 and batted .315/.429/.552 (57-for-181) with 47 runs, 11 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, 26 RBI, 32 walks and 13 stolen bases in 45 games with the DSL Yankees. The right-handed hitter did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2018.
Smith, 21, has hit .280 (221-for-788) with 109 runs, 50 doubles, four triples, 19 home runs, 118 RBI, 139 walks and 21 stolen bases over three Minor League seasons (2017-19). The left-handed batter did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dallas, Texas, native was originally drafted by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft.
Yajure, 22, saw his first Major League action in 2020, posting a 1.29 ERA (7.0 IP, 1 ER) in three relief appearances over three stints (8/20-31, 9/4-5 and 9/25-26) with the Yankees. In four Minor League seasons (2015-16, ’18-19), the right-handed pitcher has gone 14-13 with a 2.47 ERA (291.2 IP, 80 ER) in 61 games (54 starts). The Cabimas, Venezuela, native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on March 5, 2015.