Tampa Bay Rays tried to sabotage the Corey Kluber / Jameson Taillon acquisitions

The New York Yankees have taken significant steps in the past few weeks, outbidding teams for Corey Kluber and taking over Jameson Taillon in a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. General Manager Brian Cashman has been busy, but faced resistance from his recent acquisitions as AL East rivals tried to sabotage his plans. The Tampa Bay Rays in particular had Corey Klubers in their sights and were also trying to act for Taillon, which is a precarious situation as the Yankees clearly had the two in focus.

After the Rays decided to let Charlie Morton run in the free hand and swap the ace Blake Snell, they had to fill two starting spots in the rotation, and while targeting both starters the Yankees landed and their sabotage attempts fell in silence.

ESPN’s Buster Olney confirmed Tampa’s interest in the Yankees’ goals:

The Rays decided not to take Charlie Morton’s option and trade Blake Snell, but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up on improving the rotation this winter. They competed for Corey Kluber, and manager Kevin Cash drove across the state to see Kluber in person. They also tried to act for Jameson Taillon – both pitchers end up on the list of division rivals Yankees. “

The Yankees are taking a risky approach with Kluber and Taillon, no matter how you look at it. Both starters are expected to be completely healthy on opening day, however they have significant injuries and have barely served in the last two seasons. Cashman had no choice but to give both players a chance as ownership enforced a strict rule to keep the team below the luxury tax threshold of $ 210 million.

Even so, the Pittsburgh Yankees’ reviews of Taillon were extremely enticing as Aaron Boone declared it was the best feedback he’d ever received on a player.

“This is the best [feedback] I’ve come a long way, ”Boone said. “I’ve heard across the board how amazing this guy is about the person he is.”

With spring training slated to begin on February 17th, both starters should continue rehabilitation and be on their way to normal. The biggest hurdle is likely to be mentality, as both are in good physical shape to get things going.

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