Why Trade Taillon Now?

For one thing, being wrong in this business is par for the course. I didn’t believe anyone would trade for Jameson Taillon without seeing him pitch or more importantly stay healthy for a stretch.

Now it looks as though at least a couple teams are happy to look past it and while I can clearly understand when there is this much smoke a fire is most assuredly close behind, that doesn’t mean I can wrap my head around how we got here.

So I thought, let’s do a little pro vs con conversation to see if we can’t understand. After I argue it out with myself, I’ll close it up with where I land.

Let’s do it like a Pro vs Con list because this will force me to see both sides of the situation

Con: This has to be his absolute lowest value, doesn’t it make more sense to get some time from him on the mound to build value?

Pro: Sure, but value isn’t just a number. There are several teams interested which could ultimately force an overpay.

Con: Overpay, based on his lowest value, I’m seeing him listed at less than 20.0 surplus and that won’t add up to much coming back.

Pro: Define Much. Because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the likelihood he pitches into July without going on the shelf again. He’s only done that once after all, so if someone wants to touch even that low value, I have to be in.

Con: He’ll be a Cy Young contender of course when he’s gone.

Pro: C’mon me, you’re being silly now, let’s keep this in reality.

Con: Maybe you didn’t see all those videos of him throwing, he looks awesome!

Pro: I saw them, and he does look great. I’ve seen things like that with Jamo since he got drafted. So far I’ve seen it live at PNC once. I’d also remind you who puts those videos out. It’s not like they’re going to show the time he felt a twinge (if he did). I can’t count that as evidence.

Con: Look, I get it’s a rebuild or whatever they want to call it, but that doesn’t mean you just trade anyone. Especially a guy who could be a top end pitcher who makes next to nothing.

Pro: But who’s up for trade has less to do with what they make in some cases, and more to do with how much control is left. Jamo has two years left, so either way they’d be looking at moving him.

Con: Then why not offer him a cheap extension? This is a leader in the locker room, they even called him a leader last year and he didn’t play. He could really help the young guys.

Pro: That’s a very good point. but I’ll say this, he’s 29. Most good pitchers his age have already had a big contract, at some point he’s going to want paid, and I don’t mean a Pirates discount price based on his injury history. I think he’d sooner bet on himself and reach free agency. He may only get one decent money contract in his career. Can’t deny the leadership role though.

Con: Why would the Yankees or anyone else want him then? It sounds like the assumption is he’ll just get injured again.

Pro: Simply put, the Yankees can afford the risk. To be frank the Pirates could too, he costs nothing. The difference is, the Pirates have an opportunity to get prospects for someone they can’t guarantee will ever throw more than 100 innings again. One more injury and they’ll get nothing but the memories of 12 years of waiting for him to blossom and stay healthy at the same time.

The Conclusion

None of this arguing ultimately matters. It looks like a forgone conclusion that Jameson Taillon will in fact be moved, and very soon.

I almost expect to be underwhelmed by the return, because try as I might, I can’t see anyone paying over value for a player who has an injury history like him.

I expected him to get traded if he remained healthy, but that is anything but a guarantee, so I see the wisdom in taking the bird in hand approach. If they can get one nice piece that plays when things matter again here in Pittsburgh, I’ll take it.

If you’ve followed me for a while you know what a difficult and complicated subject Jameson Taillon is for me, I truly respect the guy for what he’s been through, and what he’s continuing to try to get done. I have to take my fan hat off here though, and understand getting anything of value back for him is a win for the Pirates.

If we’re worried about who will pitch this season, we’re probably asking the wrong questions.

We’ll be ready when this trade happens, but I wanted everyone to join me in this exercise so last night we had a great conversation on Twitter about the whole thing.

Ton of good conversation under this tweet. Some points I brought up, some I didn’t, but it’ll make you think or sure. This is anything but a simple answer.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

3 thoughts on “Why Trade Taillon Now?

  1. The Pirates are going to sell low on Taillon, however, if they would include another player, then Pittsburgh would a more attractive package. Taillon had the history of extensive injuries, but he is looking great after his second surgery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As a Pirates Fan I don’t think anyone really wants to see Jamo go, but it looks like it is going to happen. It’s a risk versus reward type of move. Just as he was ready to go from his first TJ he got a sports hernia, plus I bet you I could make almost any pitcher look good if you let me show you one pitch of my choice; which is not to say he can’t return to form. The dude has worked hard. A second player being included could improve the return, but it can’t just be a throw in. Other organizations don’t want our “trash”. I could see a Cal Mitchell or something of the sorts peaking another teams interest, but that would be pure speculation.

      Liked by 1 person

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