Pittsburgh received pitchers Miguel Yajure and Roansy Contreras, infielder Maikol Escotto and outfielder Canaan Smith in the trade, which has been announced by both teams.
Taillon, 29, was the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2010 and was a 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2018. But the hard-throwing right-hander appeared in just seven games in 2019 and missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.
Taillon, who has spent his entire professional career in the Pirates’ organization, tweeted Sunday that it was a “bittersweet day” for him.
Bittersweet day for me over here! Trying to process everything- have SO much to say to the city of Pittsburgh and my teammates. Also have SO much to say about this incredible opportunity and to the city/fans in New York. Thanks to everyone that has reached out! More to come soon
— Jameson Taillon (@JTaillon50) January 24, 2021
Taillon and Kluber, if healthy, could provide the Yankees with much-needed experience and depth in their rotation behind ace Gerrit Cole.
Besides Taillon and Kluber, the other candidates for the Yankees’ rotation include left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who has appeared in just 12 games since his 2018 Tommy John surgery, youngsters Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt, former All-Star Luis Severino, who missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, and Domingo German, who also missed the entire 2020 season while serving a suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Taillon is on schedule to return in 2021 after recovering from the August 2019 operation, which was the second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
The trade marks the latest step in a rebuild for the Pirates, who also acquired multiple prospects in earlier offseason trades that sent All-Star first baseman Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals and starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton told reporters last month that any trades would be made “for the betterment of the Pirates moving forward.”
As for the Yankees, the trade also reunites a pair of former teammates in Taillon and Cole, who were both highly touted prospects in Pittsburgh’s organization and played together with the Pirates in 2016 and 2017.
Taillon most recently pitched in the majors in 2019, when he went 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA in seven starts. He went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA the previous season.
Taillon, who is under contract for $2.25 million in 2021, also missed time during the 2017 season while battling testicular cancer. His first Tommy John surgery was performed in 2014, when he was pitching in the Pirates’ minor league system.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.