Cubs Rumors: Jameson Taillon Agrees to 4-Year, $68M Contract After Yankees Stint

Erin WalshDecember 7, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22: Jameson Taillon #50 of the New York Yankees looks on prior to game three of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on October 22, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Free-agent pitcher Jameson Taillon and the Chicago Cubs reportedly agreed to a contract early Wednesday morning amid the MLB winter meetings in San Diego.

According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers, the deal is worth $68 million over four years. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand noted that the Cubs were the only team to meet with Taillon in person and were "in on him from the start of free agency."

The news comes as little surprise after Feinsand reported on Nov. 30 that Taillon was expected to command a deal worth more than the four-year, $56 million deal Jon Gray signed with the Texas Rangers last year.

The 31-year-old spent the past two seasons with the New York Yankees, who acquired him in a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates ahead of the 2021 season.

In 2021, Taillon went 8-6 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 144.1 innings across 29 starts.

The Lakeland, Florida, native followed that up with a better 2022 campaign, posting a 14-5 record with a 3.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 151 strikeouts in 177.1 innings across 32 starts. He exceeded expectations in a rotation that also included Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino.

Before joining the Yankees, Taillon spent four seasons with the Pirates. He went 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 82 starts.

As for the Yankees, they still have a solid rotation entering the 2023 campaign, including Cole, Severino, Cortes, Frankie Montas and Domingo GermΓ‘n, so they should be just fine without Taillon.

On the Cubs front, signing Taillon is a move seemingly aimed toward getting them out of the doldrums, as they have missed the playoffs in two successive campaigns and three of the past four years, and went just 74-88 last season.

Chicago ranked 20th in MLB last season with an ERA of 4.00 and 24th with 540 walks, which are two areas Taillon should help improve.

While the Cubs may not be done yet in free agency, Taillon will help solidify a starting rotation that already includes Marcus Stroman, Kyle Hendricks, Justin Steele and Adrian Sampson.