Mets Rumors: NYM Still 'In On' Yankees FA Jameson Taillon After Verlander Contract

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2022

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Jameson Taillon #50 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game one of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The New York Mets reportedly remain in the running to sign free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, even in the wake of signing Justin Verlander on Monday.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets tried to sign Taillon before finalizing a deal with Verlander, and they are "still in on" the former New York Yankees hurler.

Martino added that the Mets will "100 percent" add another starting pitcher through free agency or trade, and that the organization is "deep into conversations" with multiple free-agent pitchers.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Monday that the Mets and Verlander, the former Houston Astros ace, agreed to a two-year, $86.66 million contract with a vesting third-year option.

Verlander will essentially serve as the replacement for former Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who signed a five-year, $185 million deal with the Texas Rangers.

The signing of Verlander leaves the Mets with a de facto starting rotation of Verlander, Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson and Tylor Megill. In addition to deGrom leaving for Texas, 2022 rotation members Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker are both free agents.

In Taillon, the Mets would be signing a 31-year-old veteran with six years of MLB experience as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Yankees.

Taillon was originally the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft by the Pirates, and he appeared in four seasons for the team before getting traded to the Yanks.

He largely stayed healthy in his two seasons in the Bronx, which was a big step forward after missing all but seven starts in 2019 and the entire 2020 season due to surgery on his flexor tendon and UCL.

In his first season as a member of the Yankees in 2021, Taillon made 29 starts and went 8-6 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 140 strikeouts over 144.1 innings.

Another year removed from his arm injury, Taillon was better last season, tying his career highs in starts (32) and wins (14). He also posted a 3.91 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, while striking out 151 in 177.1 innings pitched.

Taillon also saw the first playoff action of his career last season, appearing in one game out of the bullpen and starting another. He went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA, although in his start he allowed just four hits and one earned run in 4.1 innings.

Overall, Taillon has made 143 regular-season starts during his career, registering a 51-35 record with a 3.84 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

Taillon has not developed into the ace the Pirates hoped they were getting when they drafted him second overall, but he is a solid mid-to-back-of-the-rotation starter who could fit in well with the Mets.

Slotting Taillon into the No. 4 spot behind Verlander, Scherzer and Carrasco would give the Mets plenty of rotation depth as they look to improve upon last season's result of falling in the wild-card round of the playoffs.