Here's why the Cubs honed in early on Jameson Taillon

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

He's no Justin Verlander or Jacob de Grom, but Jameson Taillon is unquestionably a solid addition to the Cubs starting rotation. Inked to a four-year, $68 million pact earlier this offseason, the right-hander marked the second major rotation signing in as many years, joining Marcus Stroman atop the staff.

Taillon, 31, is coming off a 14-5 year in which he carried a 3.91 ERA, 3.94 FIP and 1.128 WHIP in 177 1/3 innings with the Yankees. Now, back in the NL Central, which he pitched in as a member of the Pirates from 2016-19, the right-hander will look to take the next step in his career.

"From the pitching side, there's a lot to be excited about. I think they saw some steps forward from a lot of different guys. I'm impressed with a lot of the arms. We have a nice mix of some established guys who have done it for a while, and we have got some younger guys that are trying to establish themselves in the league. So just some exciting things there."

Jameson Taillon, via

The Cubs are intrigued by what they believe they can unlock with Taillon's arsenal - but that intrigue isn't the only thing that prompted the two sides to come to terms on a deal. While that mutual interest certainly played a major role in how things played out, hard truths - like the weaknesses in the lineup - helped Jed Hoyer focus his efforts on Taillon who, like I said, wasn't at the top of the starting pitching market and didn't command the same price tag as a Verlander or de Grom.

Cubs knew they were prioritizing position players this offseason

With a star-studded class of free agent shortstops, Hoyer had his sights set on landing one - and, this week, he accomplished that goal with the Dansby Swanson signing. Swanson joins Cody Bellinger, the longtime Dodgers slugger in search of a rebound showing in 2023, as major position player upgrades the team has made this winter - not to mention Tucker Barnhart, who will handle catching duties with Yan Gomes next year.

Next. Lucas Luetge is a perfect option for the Cubs . dark

While Cubs fans may wish for Tom Ricketts to be as free-wheeling as Mets owner Steve Cohen, that's never going to happen. The front office has to set its priorities and act accordingly and, in choosing to focus the majority of its resources on a lineup that was very middle-of-the-road in 2022, Taillon became a perfect fit, both in terms of price tag and upside.