To make room for Cessa, a sixth-year right-hander, and Wilson, a 10th-year southpaw -- on the 40-man roster, the Reds designated for assignment right-handers Ashton Goudeau and Edgar García. Cessa, 29, was 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 appearances with New York this season, while Wilson, 33, was 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 21 appearances.
“They come with great reports on their character, and we know their track record as pitchers,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’re always trying to look to get better, and I think it says a lot about just where we are as far as believing in what we’re doing and where we’re heading. [I] can’t wait to add these guys into the mix.”
Cessa is a career 10-13 with a 4.19 ERA in 19 starts and 112 relief appearances, with four saves, all for the Yankees. He posted a 2.25 ERA in five postseason games for New York in 2019 and '20.
“I think it’s better I’ve been traded to the Cincinnati Reds,” Cessa said Wednesday. “Maybe they use me in more [high] leverage innings. I think this is my opportunity for [testing] myself, and it’s a new page. Everything is going to be new. For sure, just try to be ready and do my best when they give me the opportunity to pitch.”
Wilson was selected by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB Draft. He is 33-23 with a 3.44 ERA and 18 saves in 501 career appearances, all in relief, for the Pirates, Yankees, Tigers, Cubs and Mets. Wilson posted a 1.69 ERA in six career appearances in the postseason for the Pirates, Yankees and Cubs.
“I'm happy for a new opportunity, really,” Wilson said Wednesday. “I just want to pitch and contribute here, and every game matters for these guys. I'm excited to be here.”
It was previously unclear whether Cincinnati would be buyers or sellers, but in making the move following a 7-4 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, the Reds -- who remained seven games back of first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central -- look to be committed to a playoff push.
The move also made it clear that Cincinnati found it necessary to make improvements to the bullpen from outside of the organization. The Reds entered Tuesday with the worst ERA (5.35) among all Major League bullpens. García actually started off the bottom of the ninth Tuesday with Cincinnati up 7-2, but he only added to the need for new relievers when he gave up two home runs and recorded just a single out in the frame.
“We’ve tried to make upgrades throughout the season,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said. “We claimed Michael Feliz on waivers and he got hurt a short time afterward. We brought in [Brad] Brach in the middle of the season. We brought in [Heath] Hembree at the end of Spring Training. We knew we had some issues [in the bullpen], and we’ve been trying to address piece by piece all year long and find the group we can put together that has a chance to make a run.”