The Pirates sent Jameson Taillon to the Yankees Sunday morning, making him the second starting pitcher the Bucs have moved this offseason (after Joe Musgrove). In addition to Musgrove and Taillon, Pittsburgh sent first baseman Josh Bell to the Nationals earlier this winter.
Sunday’s trade could mark the end of Pittsburgh’s teardown of the MLB roster for this offseason. General manager Ben Cherington told reporters (including Rob Biertempfel of the Athletic) that the Pirates’ front office will now “likely shift our energy back toward adding to the team,” although he cautioned the Pirates will “definitely keep the phone on” if rival teams call on their remaining big leaguers. Specifically, picking up a veteran starter is now a priority, Cherington said.
Presumably, that would be a lower-cost addition. The Pirates perennially run one of the league’s lowest payrolls, and there’s no reason to expect any high-impact acquisitions at the start of a rebuild. Free agency offers a plethora of experienced starters coming off down or injury-plagued seasons. The opportunity to claim a regular rotation spot in a pitcher-friendly home park could appeal to any number of rebound candidates.
Cherington also noted that Miguel Yajure could compete for a rotation spot at some point in 2021 (via Biertempfel). Part of the four-player return for Taillon, the 22-year-old had an MLB cameo out of the Yankees’ bullpen last season.