The Tigers and Yankees have announced a trade that will send left-handed setup man Justin Wilson to Detroit in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Luis Cessa and Chad Green.
In Wilson, the Tigers will receive the lefty setup man they’ve been seeking and do so at what should be an affordable rate. Wilson is controllable for three seasons via the arbitration process and is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $1.3MM next season.
The Yankees acquired Wilson, now 28, from the Pirates last winter in the trade that sent catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pirates. His first season in New York was largely successful, as he worked to a 3.10 ERA with 9.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 43.8 percent ground-ball rate. Wilson was similarly effective against both right- and left-handed batters (.593 OPS and .621 OPS, respectively). It’s a bit odd to see Wilson struggle more against lefties than righties, but he had some control issues when facing same-handed hitters in 2015 (though he hasn’t previously struggled in that regard versus left-handers).
Wilson will join newly acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez and newly signed setup man mark Lowe in the back of a remade Tigers bullpen. He should be the top left-handed setup man for manager Brad Ausmus, while internal candidates like Kyle Ryan, Blaine Hardy and Kyle Lobstein represent options to add a second lefty into the mix.
For the Yankees, the trade means that lefties Chasen Shreve and Jacob Lindgren will be relied upon as the primary lefties in manager Joe Girardi’s bullpen (barring an outside acquisition, of course). New York will pick up the Tigers’ No. 6 and No. 19 prospects, respectively, in Cessa and Green, according to MLB.com’s end-of-season rankings.
If Cessa’s name sounds familiar, it’s because this is the second trade in which he’s been involved in the past six months, although the first was considerably more high profile. Cessa went to Detroit alongside fellow righty Michael Fulmer in July’s Yoenis Cespedes swap with the Mets. The 23-year-old Cessa struggled greatly in his first exposure to Triple-A this season, recording a 6.97 ERA in 64 innings of work. However, he also thrived at the Double-A level, where he logged a 2.91 ERA with a 61-to-17 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings prior to his Triple-A promotion. MLB.com notes that Cessa has a fastball in the 93-95 mph range as well as a slurvy-but-improving breaking pitch and the “makings of a Major League changeup.” He profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Green, 24, sits 90 to 94 with his own heater, which has heavy sink and which he commands well. However, MLB.com notes that he lacks plus secondary offerings, so he’s a bit of a project. Green spent the entirety of the 2015 season pitching in the rotation for Detroit’s Double-A affiliate, where he recorded a 3.93 ERA with 8.3 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. Both players picked up in the deal would seem to be on track to pitch in Triple-A early next year, meaning it wouldn’t be a surprise if either arm surfaced in the Majors at some point in 2016.
Jennifer Hammond of FOX Sports Detroit first reported the trade was in place (Twitter link) and added the specifics (link) on the return shortly thereafter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Is it just me or these two teams always trading players with each other?
They do quite a bit.
The last lefty they got from NY was Phil Coke. Let’s hope that Wilson works out a little better.
Well this has to mean Miller is staying. I don’t understand the move much. Wilson was their 3rd best reliever
Yankees brass probably have trust in Pazos and Lindgarden
I agree 100%. I liked Wilson, i hope they keep Miller.
Sad to see Cessa go, but the Mudhens AAA affiliate was overcrowded as is in the rotation.
Tigers needed a lhp to go with Hardy. I’m ok with this
Looking to add to their farm. With all the graduates this past season, has to be bottom 3rd in the league.
Bottom 3rd? With Judge, Mateo and Sanchez likely top 100 guys and several guys like Mason Williams, Eric Jagielo, Rob Refsnyder, Jake Cave and Ben Gamel, posting good numbers I think we are more middle of the pack.
Keep in mind the Yanks do a great job or developing non ranked (not top 100) prospects into valuable players. Gardner, Cano, Warren, Austin Jackson, Cervelli, Nova, were all under the radar guys.
This guy is a TROLL. He just bashes the Yankees. The Yankees are top 15 in Mlb for minor league ranked.
I still don’t understand how you’re not banned.
Could be a great fit for the pen. Al’s doing more for the pen than DD did in years.
Seems DD learned his lesson though, he’s completely transformed Boston’s pen.
They could be selling high on WIlson but compare him to what DD got
Tigers Updates Retweeted
#NoHubris @tokarzontigers 43m43 minutes ago
Justin Wilson had the same WAR as Craig Kimbrel did last year. Virtuallly the same FIP, better BB, HR rates.
If the Yankees can trade away Justin Wilson for two bad prospects, why haven’t the Jays been able to do something like that? I hate Mark Shapiro..
Pretty exciting off season for the Jays so far. Yes, Mark Shapiro is the devil. I hope you wanted mediocrity for Xmas cause that’s what we are getting.
Welcome to how Indians fans have felt for years.
I don’t understand why they want to trade all the bullpen arms. If they move Miller, Dillon will be the only one left.
Cashman on reported #Tigers/Wilson trade: “I don’t know what the reports are but I don’t have anything to talk about.” #Yankees
If this means they are keeping Miller then this is a great moves for the Yanks. Lindgren will be solid. I like the moves they are making.
I don’t get the move Wilson was a solid bullpen piece I don’t trust shreve
Trust in Lindgren
Would the Yankees be willing to give Shreve back to Atlanta? That is the only guy I haven’t been ok with Atlanta trading over the last 18 months or so.
He was Awful in the second half for the Yankees. Wish it was him going to Detroit instead of Atlanta
*instead of Wilson (sorry)
don’t get this one, the third best reliever on the club for two pitcher who pitched to over 4 eras. The bullpen just got weaker
Well, Al got a lefty, all that’s left now is a LF (though I have no problems if he tries to get one more bullpen arm). I will continue to advocate signing Denard Span. He would provide the leadoff batter that the Tigers have been lacking. He will not cost a draft pick. He bats left handed. He could play either CF or LF with Gose/Maybin in the other spot. It would allow Gose to bat 8th with Iglesias 9th, putting 3 speed guys together in the lineup. Most importantly, it would provide a bevy of fast forerunners for Kinsler, Miggy, Victor and JD to drive in. Span should cost less and be for fewer years than the more high profile FA’s. Get it done, Al.
Good deal for the Tigs! We needed it.
Al Aliva’s checklist is DONE.
He can take a 55 day vacation now and see if any major free agent slips through the cracks in the first week of February.
Dream? That they get a deal like the Orioles got with Nelson Cruz in Feb 2014 ($8MM/1 year)… when every other team is out of money/roster spots.
I really don’t get this one from the Yankees side. A little payback for the Greene trade?
Unless the Yankees have a trade in mind that may deplete a couple arms from the minors. These two are potentially fill in’s or replacements for Scranton WB
I hope Blaine Hardy is more than just an option for the second lefty mix. He’s been damn good the past couple of years.
I’m having a hard time figuring out how this makes any sense for the Yankees.
I agree… The Yankees traded their very good 2015 bullpen away.
Maybe the Tigers can get Michael Pineda for Camerin Maybin now… bad joke.
Tigers Bullpen is set:
7th: Wilson and Wilson when results matter (TM).
Remaining Righty: Verhagen (Rondon as backup)
Remaining Lefty: Hardy (Lobstein as a backup)
THEY ARE DONE.
Fr lord bless
Great job by Avila!! Tigers get a solid LRP that is low cost and under control for 3 years. He gives up 2 pitchers who show promise but are at the back of the pack of several arms in AAA. Now the $5-7MM he saved for FA LHP can be used to go after more OF help.
They now are right at last year’s payroll so another OF player is just wishful thinking. on my part.
Did cashman scale down the building or fall completely off?!!!!!! Two minor league projects for the 7th inning guy?! I hope he has something bigger up his sleeve.
Love the trade from the Yanks’ standpoint. Selling high on Wilson, he was very good last year but they have other guys to take over his spot.
The two arms they got will stay in the minors next year and hopefully one or both can move up in 2017 to claim a rotation spot. That will make it easier to let some of the upcoming free agents leave. Cashman is doing a solid rebuild with his under the radar moves like this.
I do not really get this move at all. At first, they traded Warren, which I was kind of “meh” about, maybe they could have traded someone else (wished it was Ellsbury) besides Warren. Now, they trade Wilson and I’m just utterly confused because now the Yankees expect some other “Adam Warren” and some other “Justin Wilson” (possibly Lindgren) to slide right in. Unless if the Yankees acquired these two prospects to increase their assets to form some bigger trade, it does not really make sense to hand away two of the trusty bullpen guys away.
It’s too early to say whether this is a good or bad move. I’m not in love with the idea of weakening our bullpen which was one of our few strengths last year. However, I get the Castro deal. This one…ehhh. Maybe the scouts see something more in these guys. Regardless the Yanks drafting philosophy is to draft hard throwing pitchers and then mold them into valuable bullpen arms. If you look at the likes of Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, David Robertson, Adam Warren, etc they have been successful in that regard. We have a lot of fringy hard throwing starters that would be back of rotation starters or excellent relievers. Interesting to see how these kids pan out.
The Yankees build pens about as well as any team not named the Royals. They’ve stockpiled a ton of arms over the past year so some will be lost (One probably gets taken tomorrow in the Rule 5), some will be traded. They can afford to move Warren and Wilson because history says they’ll replace them. One example. Ivan Nova would probably be a kick-ass reliever.
Al Avila has done more in 2 months for the Tigers pen than DD did in years. K-Rod, Lowe and Wilson for 11M in 2015. Costing 3 prospects.
Nice pick up for the Tigers. Wilson is all gas, but effective. Handles RH’d betters well. A bit surprised the Yankees gave up an arm on the current roster for a couple pitchers who probably will have little impact in 2016, but they also are dealing from strength. They have four lefty arms, including Lindgren, who can step right in. Solid move for the Tigers in 2016, should help the Yankees more in 2017.
Why are there no comments @bout additional moves the Yankees will make to bolster their bullpen? I think they were sign someone good, Sipp or Bastardo. Their recent m.o has not been to be cheap so much as to not give out egregious contracts guaranteeing guys eight figures annually years into the future for their elderly years. Much like the trade for Castro, signing a reliever for $20m wouldn’t do that.