Contract extensions, including deals for right-handers Aaron Nola (Phillies) and Luis Severino (Yankees), have been a dominant story across Major League Baseball this week. Sooner than later, the Pirates should follow the Phillies and Yankees in inking their own excellent young righty, Jameson Taillon, for the long haul, Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review opines. Unlike Philly and New York, both of which secured their aces to four-year guarantees worth $40MM or more, Pittsburgh’s not a big spender, perhaps making it all the more important for the Bucs to lock up Taillon at an affordable price in the near future. However, Taillon – who still has four years of control remaining, including three arbitration-eligible seasons – revealed this week that he and the club “haven’t talked about anything” yet. Barring an unexpected change, the 27-year-old will pitch this season for a relative pittance after logging a 3.20 ERA/3.46 FIP with 8.43 K/9 and 2.17 BB/9 over 191 innings in 2018.
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- Like Taillon, Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw hasn’t discussed an extension with his club, he told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com and other reporters Saturday. Shaw did note that he’d like to be a long-term Brewer, though, and won’t take umbrage at shifting to second base if the team re-signs free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas. Shaw saw his first major league action at the keystone last year, when he made 39 appearances there (compared to 107 at third). Offensively, the soon-to-be 29-year-old delivered his second straight season of 30-plus home runs, helping him notch his second consecutive campaign with at least 3.5 fWAR. Now in his third-last year of team control, Shaw will earn a team-friendly $4.675MM salary.
- One of Shaw’s fellow Brewers infielders, Hernan Perez, underwent offseason surgery to remove a bone chip in his left wrist, Haudricourt writes. While Perez didn’t mention the injury last season, “it was bothering me a lot,” he said Saturday. The 27-year-old is healthy now, however, and unless the Brewers make a spring acquisition in the form of Moustakas or another infielder, Perez could see substantial playing time again in 2019. From 2016-18, Perez amassed 1,222 plate appearances – including 334 last season – though he combined to hit just .262/.294/.411 during that three-year period.
- The Reds have been one of the majors’ most active teams in recent months, and they remain “open for business,” according to president Dick Williams (via John Fay and Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). Williams likes the team as it’s currently constructed, but he added, “We have some resources to do deals if we find the right ones.” It’s out of the question Cincinnati will pursue Bryce Harper or Manny Machado in free agency, and it’s unlikely it’ll go back after previous target Dallas Keuchel, Fay and Nightengale suggest. Rather, the Reds could look to bolster their depth, specifically in center field and at a shortstop, per Fay and Nightengale.