Days after trading away veteran starter Joe Musgrove, the Pittsburgh Pirates continued with their teardown on Sunday by sending once promising pitching prospect Jameson Taillon to the New York Yankees for a package of minor leaguers. While Taillon has not exactly lived up to his past status as the number 2 overall pick in his draft class, he has generally been very solid in pitching to a 3.20 ERA and winning 14 games back in 2018. Capable of reaching the upper-90's with his fastball and possessing solid secondary stuff, the train came off the tracks for Taillon in 2019 when he tore the UCL in his elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery for the SECOND time. The fact Taillon has now had the procedure twice makes his potential impact a true mystery when he gets back on the mound this spring but the low cost the Yanks in terms off to giving up any of their top prospects was well worth it. Having already taken another low-risk bet on former two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, the Yanks are trying to bridge the gap behind Gerrit Cole and the return of hard-throwing former ace Luis Severino. Add in the unknown in terms of future performance of mid-tier arms Jordan Montgomery, Clarke Schmidt, and Deivi Garcia and the move makes sense.
In terms of 2021 fantasy baseball, Taillon is not really someone you want to chase and that goes even in deep leagues. While Taillon held down SP 3/4 value previously, his move to the AL East and not possessing what you would call big strikeout stuff (a modest 8/43 K/9 has been his personal best), it is best left to leave him in the SP 5 tier at best. In fact, we would go much heavier on Kluber and Severino then Taillon for that matter. Add it all together and this is a move that helps the Yanks more in real-life baseball than it could help you in fantasy baseball.