Cessa is a 29-year-old right-hander from Mexico who made his MLB debut with the Yankees back in 2016. Meanwhile, Justin Wilson is a 33-year-old lefty who has spent 10 years in MLB, pitching for five different teams.
The New York Yankees have announced that following Tuesday’s game they traded RHP Luis Cessa and LHP Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for a player to be named later.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 28, 2021
From 2016 through 2018, Cessa was a swing man and spot starter for New York, bouncing up and down between Triple-A and the majors. However, he has become an effective member of the bullpen since the start of 2019.
In this span, Cessa has pitched 141 innings to the tune of a 3.64 ERA. Through 29 appearances and 38 1/3 innings pitched in 2021, his 2.82 ERA and 3.54 FIP represent career-best figures.
As for Justin Wilson, 2021 has not been kind to him. He has had multiple stints on the injured list, only throwing a grand total of 18 innings over 21 outings this season. Even when healthy, his performance has seen a sharp decline this year, putting up a 7.50 ERA, a 6.70 FIP, and nearly as many runs allowed as innings pitched. This is a stark departure from his 2015 through 2019 peak in which he threw up a 3.40 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 125 ERA+, and 10.7 K/9.
The Reds Side of the Trade
The Reds are a team with a win-now mentality, and one thing they had to do was improve their bullpen. Due to injuries and underperformance, the Reds bullpen has collectively posted a 5.35 ERA, worst in the majors. This trade definitely deepens their bullpen as Cessa is capable of pitching two or three innings on a given night, while Wilson can provide some stability in a middle relief role.
Justin Wilson’s track record reflects a very solid reliever, and injuries have gotten in the way of him pitching better in 2021. If he can stay healthy with Cincinnati, he can become a very valuable arm for them.
As a side note, Cessa is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, while Wilson has a player option after the season. Considering Cessa’s success, he can prove to be a valuable addition to the Reds’ bullpen for years to come.
The Yankees Side of the Trade
This is a strange move for the Yankees to make, given the state of their bullpen and the quality of pitcher they gave up in Cessa. However, they were able to clear up two roster spots in this trade, raising some eyebrows about any upcoming moves.
Whether they have a big trade in the works, or plan to call up one or two prospects, one has to wonder something interesting might be happening soon in Yankees land.
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