ST. PETERSBURG -- In a move that could be a precursor for Trade Deadline activity to come, the Yankees dealt right-hander Luis Cessa and left-hander Justin Wilson to the Reds late on Tuesday evening in exchange for a player to be named later.
The Yankees have been actively seeking financial relief in advance of Friday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Yet the moves are curious because the Yankees’ bullpen has been a problem area, with Cessa having been one of their more reliable options.
Cessa, 29, was 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 relief appearances. In six seasons with the Yanks (2016-21), he was 10-13 with four saves and a 4.19 ERA in 131 games (19 starts). Cessa is earning $1.05 million -- about $400,000 for the rest of the season -- and is arbitration-eligible in each of the next two seasons.
Wilson, 33, was 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 21 relief appearances. He missed 34 games over two stints on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation and a right hamstring strain. Wilson is owed about $1 million this year, plus a $1.15 million buyout, a $2.3 million player option or a $7.15 million club option.
Over 10 Major League seasons with the Pirates (2012-14), Yankees (2015, ’21), Tigers (2016-17), Cubs (2017-18) and Mets (2019-20), Wilson has posted a 33-23 record with 18 saves and a 3.44 ERA in 501 relief appearances.
New York added right-handed reliever Clay Holmes to its bullpen on Monday in a trade with the Pirates.
The Yankees are thought to have interest in Rangers first baseman/outfielder Joey Gallo and Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.
With a 52-47 record, the Yankees are nine games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. They are 2 1/2 games out of a Wild Card slot, trailing the Athletics (56-46) and Mariners (55-47) for the second berth.