CHICAGO – The Cubs turned on the hot stove early Tuesday evening when they signed a former MVP and they kept it going late into the night to get a starting pitcher.
Per multiple reports, the first from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cubs have reached an agreement on a contract with Jameson Taillon. Jesse Rogers and Jeff Passan of ESPN report that it’s a four-year, $68 million deal.
The club has yet to confirm the move.
Taillon’s agreement came just a few hours after the Cubs reportedly came to a deal with former Dodgers outfielder and 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger on a one-year contract.
A second-overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft of the Pirates, the starter has pitched in six MLB seasons, starting with four in Pittsburgh. After UCL surgery cost him all of the 2020 season, Taillon was traded to the Yankees in a deal that sent the Pirates four prospects.
During the last two years with the Yankees, he compiled a 22-11 record with a 4.08 ERA with 291 strikeouts compared to 76 walks. In his first season in New York in 2021, Taillon had an ERA of 4.30 in 144 1/3 innings with 140 strikeouts compared to 44 walks as he went 8-6 in 29 starts.
Last season, Taillon’s ERA dropped to 3.91 in 32 starts in 177 1/3 innings with 151 strikeouts compared to 32 walks. He finished with a 14-8 record and made two appearances with one start in the playoffs for the Yankees as they made it to the ALCS.
After having Tommy John surgery in 2014, Taillon made his debut with the Pirates in 2016 and pitched with that team for four years. He was 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA with 419 strikeouts compared to 117 walks in 82 games.
The starter’s best season with the Pirates came in 2018 when he had a 3.20 ERA with a career-high 179 strikeouts and had an MLB-high two complete games.
Taillon joins a Cubs’ rotation that has established starters Kyle Hendricks and Marcus Stroman along with young pitchers Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson, who’ve shown potential over the past year.
Like the rest of the Cubs, the group of starters that manager David Ross will ultimately start with remains in flux as the team continues building a new core ahead of the beginning of the 2023 season.