Chicago Cubs Rumors: Team among favorites for Jameson Taillon

Aug 30, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50)
Aug 30, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings and the Chicago Cubs are wasting no time in targeting free agents that will address areas of need. Free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon has been a recent addition to the Cubs' rumor mill, and on Monday, the team was listed among teams to watch in regard to signing Taillon.

In light of the five-year contract that Jacob deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers last Friday, the asking prices of free-agent starting pitchers have skyrocketed. Under the current market in light of deGrom's deal, Taillon is expected to land a four-year deal worth north of $50MM.

The Chicago Cubs are among the teams to watch for free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon.

As the expected cost of free-agent pitchers such as Taillon is on the rise, one would have to question how far are the Cubs willing to go on a contract for a free-agent starting pitcher. It has been the general practice for the Cubs under Theo Epstein and now Jed Hoyer to avoid long-term deals for free-agent starting pitchers, There have been exceptions such as Jon Lester and Yu Darvish, but that is not the same tier that the team is shopping in this offseason.

With interest in veteran starting pitcher Corey Kluber having been previously reported, and now with the interest in Taillon, the Cubs appear to be more interested in filling the bottom half of their starting rotation as opposed to the top half. Taillon, or even Kluber, would be upgrades to the Cubs' rotation but still leave the team without a true top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher.

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In a competitive American League East division, Taillon posted a 3.91 ERA (3.94 FIP) in a tick over 177 innings pitched with the New York Yankees last season. A return to the National League Central division, a much weaker division than the American League East, likely would see Taillon be more effective than he was with the Yankees. Taillon, previously with the Pittsburgh Pirates, had success in his last full season in the National League Central division as he posted a 3.20 ERA ( 3.46 FIP) in 32 starts with the Pirates in 2018.