July 23, 2024

The Chicago Cubs have become one of the most intriguing teams to watch ahead of the upcoming MLB trade deadline, with uncertainty surrounding the direction the front office will take. Their strategy largely depends on their performance over the next two weeks. If the Cubs continue their recent winning streak, they may look to acquire new talent. However, if they revert to losing, a sell-off seems likely.

Should the Cubs decide to sell, starting pitcher Jameson Taillon could be a key player on the move. Taillon has been a standout performer for the Cubs this season, showing consistent improvement after a difficult 2023. His strong performance would make him a popular trade target for several teams, including the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jameson Taillon to start for Cubs on Thursday as Yan Gomes goes on  concussion IL, team recalls Javier Assad - Chicago Sun-Times

Zach Presnell of FanSided has suggested a potential trade where the Cubs would send Taillon and cash considerations to the Pirates in exchange for left-hander Hunter Barco, right-hander Patrick Reilly, and infielder Keiner Delgado. In this scenario, Chicago would receive prospects ranked No. 12, No. 19, and No. 21 in Pittsburgh’s system. While these aren’t elite prospects, the Cubs wouldn’t expect a massive return for Taillon.

For the Pirates, reuniting with Taillon, who spent his first four MLB seasons with Pittsburgh, would bolster their pitching staff. Ideally for Chicago, this trade won’t be necessary. If they remain competitive, Taillon would be crucial for their postseason aspirations. He has two years left on his current contract and could be a long-term asset for the Cubs’ rotation.

Taillon’s stats this season are impressive: in 15 starts, he has a 6-4 record, a 2.99 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, a 4.0 K/BB ratio, and 87.1 innings pitched. These numbers suggest he could be a valuable piece for a playoff push. However, if the Cubs fall out of contention, trading Taillon to maximize his value would be a prudent move.

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