It looks like the Yankees may have dodged a bullet in 2023 MLB free agency.
Jameson Taillon, whom New York let walk for a four-year, $68 million deal with the Chicago Cubs after a solid year in The Bronx, has been struggling in a big way through seven starts on the season – and even he would tell you as much.
“It’s crappy,” Taillon told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Especially being on a new team and in a new place, I want to prove I deserve to be here and I’m a good player. And, so far, I haven’t had the opportunity to show that.”
So far, Taillon is 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA in the first year of his deal, having allowed 24 earned runs and five homers through 26 2/3 innings pitched.
The Cubs, despite getting off to a strong start, have fallen back to the pack, with a record of 20-26, good for third place in the NL Central.
It’s a massive letdown from his 2022 season with the Yankees, where he had a 14-5 record and pitched to a 3.94 ERA.
To Taillon’s credit, he is averaging a career-best K/9 rate through the early going in 2023, but that’s about the only thing that’s gone right for the starter.
Jameson Taillon on the mound with the CubsGetty Images
Jameson Taillon during his time with the YankeesGetty Images
His worst game of the season may have been his last start, on Saturday against the Phillies, when he allowed six earned runs in 2 ⅓ innings, including a grand slam to Kyle Schwarber.
“We’re going to try to help support when a guy’s struggling,” Cubs manager David Ross told the Sun-Times. “And he’s going through a tough time right now. He’ll put the work in, we’ll put the work in to try to be better.”
“It’s not any kind of panic button or anything like that,” catcher Yan Gomes added. “Because we know the track record, we know that he’s willing to put in the work and willing to make some adjustments if we need to.”
Taillon has recovered from rough starts in his career — including last year, where he got stronger down the stretch with the Yankees.
But still, while New York’s free-agent splash of 2023 (Carlos Rodon) has yet to start a game, it looks like the Yankees have dodged a bullet by letting Taillon walk.