Yankees' Jameson Taillon talks relationship with Gerrit Cole: 'It's nice to know someone has your back in the building'

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Coby Green
·3 min read
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Jameson Taillon spring training zoom
Jameson Taillon spring training zoom

Jameson Taillon is the new guy in the locker room for the first time since 2016, after being traded away by the Pittsburgh Pirates -- the team that drafted him -- to the Yankees this offseason.

But lucky enough for Taillon, he already knows a friendly face in Gerrit Cole, whom he played with in Pittsburgh for two seasons. Since then, Cole has turned into a $326 million man and the new ace for the Yankees after signing with the team last season.

During his Zoom meeting with reporters Friday, Taillon said he's lucky to have a familiar face in the new locker room with him.

"Coming into a building not knowing many people, it's nice to know a guy like Gerrit, just as a friend," Taillon said. "It's nice to know someone has your back in the building. Someone I can ask simple questions to, like 'What hat do we wear?' or 'What jersey do we wear? What field is field No. 3? Where are we stretching? ...It's nice to have someone off the field that I'm really comfortable around."

But Taillon took it a step further when it came to being actual pitching teammates again for the first time in years.

"As far as being teammates, that's a little bit different than being friends, that's being in the building with him, getting to work on our craft together, getting to watch each other's bullpens, getting to play catch together, giving each other feedback. That's going to be really cool.

"It's no secret he's developed into one of the best -- if not the best -- starting pitchers in baseball, and he's got a interesting mind and he thinks about pitching in an extremely interesting way. So there have been little things that he's told me already where I'm like 'Wow, I never thought about that.' ...He's already dropped some really cool facts on me."

Back in January when the trade news first hit, Cole shared similar sentiments about Taillon and was excited to have him come to New York.

“I told (the Yankees), if you are going to bet on somebody, if you are going to go to battle with someone, that Jameson is the guy you want next to you,” Cole said. “He is not fazed. He always makes people around him better. He is one of the most resilient people I have ever known.”

Now that Taillon is on board and down in Tampa with the team for spring training, he got to put on Yankees pinstripes for the first time and took a moment to take in what was happening.

"The Yankee pinstripes are special. When you say it, everyone in baseball -- every sports fan knows what the Yankees pinstripes mean," he said. "So yesterday putting it on, even just sitting at my locker -- I took a picture in my pants just at my locker, I thought it was so cool. I didn't know how it was going to feel until you actually get here and you're a part of this and you start feeling like a part of the team and organization.

"So yeah, I mean, it's the Yankees. What else can you say?"