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Yankees acquire RHP Jameson Taillon from Pirates for four prospects

Nearly a decade ago, Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon began dreaming about a future in which they’d line up back to back in the starting rotation. It happened for the Pirates for a few years, and now, they have reunited in the Bronx.

The Yankees acquired Taillon from the rebuilding Pirates in a trade the teams announced on Sunday afternoon, rounding out their rotation with a right-hander who’s undergone Tommy John surgery twice but has performed like a top-of-the-rotation starter when healthy.

In return, the Pirates received prospects Miguel Yajure, Roansy Contreras, Maikol Escotto and Canaan Smith. The right-hander Yajure was the Yankees’ No. 15 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Contreras was their No. 19 prospect, Smith was No. 21 and Escotto was not among their Top 30 Prospects.

The Yankees had a full 40-man roster, along with the pending signings of DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber, but they will open up two spots by moving Yajure and Contreras.

Pittsburgh focused on young talent in moving Starling Marte (D-backs), Josh Bell (Nationals) and Joe Musgrove (Padres) over the past year, with general manager Ben Cherington focused solely on aggressively building a deeper farm system so that the Pirates can contend down the road. That also meant parting with Taillon, who drew increased interest from teams, including the Yankees and Rays, after Musgrove was dealt to San Diego.