Highly touted right-handed pitching prospect Jameson Taillon made his Major League debut for the Pirates in 2016, and his season did not disappoint.
As the offseason gets ready to begin to heat up, here at Rum Bunter we will begin to look at Pirate players that are have earned a possible contract extension this offseason. In the coming days we will take a look at multiple players that fit this bill. And today we will begin with a young starting pitcher.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Jameson Taillon with the second overall pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Due to this, Taillon always had high hopes and expectations surrounding him. However, Taillon dealt with injuries throughout his Minor League career.
Injuries cost Taillon both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. If not for these injuries, odds are, Jameson Taillon would have made his Major League debut in the summer of 2014. Instead, it had to wait until the summer of 2016.
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Jameson Taillon’s Major League debut came on June 8th against the New York Mets. This start was made at PNC Park. After this start, he never looked back.
Taillon would finish the season with 104 innings pitched for the Pirates. In these 104 innings pitched he averaged 7.36 K/9, 1.47 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, and his WHIP was just 1.12. He generated a 52.4 percent ground ball rate, he held opposing hitters to a .252 batting average, and his average exit velocity of 90.1 miles per hour was below league average.
All of this led to Taillon owning a 3.38 ERA, 3.71 FIP, and a 3.43 xFIP in 2016. He also posted a strong 1.7 WAR. As a result of his season Taillon was my Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2016 Rookie of the Year.
The Pittsburgh Pirates control Jameson Taillon through the 2022 season. However, I believe this needs to change. I believe the Pirates should attempt to negotiate a contract extension with Taillon this offseason.
Neal Huntington has done an excellent job of locking up the Pirates’ core players. Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Francisco Cervelli are all among the players that have signed contract extensions in recent years. Now it is time for Jameson Taillon to be next.
The Pirates have a very good duo of young starting pitchers to anchor their rotation in Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. However, a contract extension with Gerrit Cole is extremely unlikely to happen. This is due to Cole’s agent being Scott Boras. To me, that also factors in when debating an extension with Jameson Taillon.
The Pirates control Taillon for the next six seasons. The contract I would attempt to negotiate with him would be four 8-10 years, and I would gladly offer him over 100 million dollars. The early returns on Taillon indicate he will be well worth that kind of contract.
I understand if others are not so gung-ho about a Taillon extension. Especially due to his injury history. However, to me, it seems like Taillon is on his way to super-stardom. Therefore, I am ready to make him part of the Pirates’ rotation for the next decade.
This offseason, the Pirates should do all they can to negotiate a contract extension with Jameson Taillon. The longer they wait, the more Taillon’s price will go up. And locking him up to anchor the Pirates’ rotation for years to come would be a very wise move by Neal Huntington.