While it sounds like bringing back DJ LeMahieu remains the Yankees’ top priority in free agency, the trade market could present other opportunities for the Bombers to pick up some key pieces.
According to a report from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Yankees have had talks with the Pirates involving starting pitcher James Taillon and first baseman Josh Bell. Mackey reports that he’s “unsure on seriousness or scope,” but that the two clubs could make for interesting trade partners.
Heard today from a couple sources that the Pirates and Yankees have had conversations involving Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell. Unsure on seriousness or scope, but it’s an interesting match.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) December 9, 2020
The second overall pick in the 2010 draft, the right-handed Taillon could be an intriguing rotation option for the Yankees, who will likely have Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and a lot of questions after that.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander is under team control through the 2022 season, and he has a career ERA of 3.67 to go along with a 1.247 WHIP. While the talent is clearly there, Taillon has been held back by injuries, as he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014 and then had surgery to repair a flexor tendon along with a UCL revision in 2019, which caused him to miss all of the 2020 season as well.
Meanwhile, Bell is a switch-hitting first baseman who lofted a career-best 37 home runs and 116 RBI in 2019, making his first All-Star appearance of his career. His numbers dropped off in 2020, though, as his average dipped 51 points to .226 to go along with a less-than-impressive .305 OBP. He struck out 59 times in 57 games during the shortened campaign.