The Yankees announced they have acquired right-handed pitching prospect Jason Parker from the Reds. He is the player to be named later in last month’s trade that sent relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to Cincinnati.
Parker was Cincinnati’s 16th-round pick in 2019 out of North Carolina State University. He’s made his affiliated ball debut this season, working to a 4.05 ERA across 80 innings as a starter in Low-A. The 23-year-old has struck out a strong 27% of opposing hitters against an average 9.8% walk rate, albeit against generally younger competition. Parker was not ranked among the Reds’ top prospects at FanGraphs or Baseball America.
While the Yankees will add Parker as a flier to the lower levels of the organization, the bigger driver of the deal for New York at the time was creating immediate roster and payroll space to accommodate future deadline acquisitions. The Yankees would go on to add Joey Gallo, Joely Rodríguez, Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Heaney over the next few days. By including Cessa, the Yankees were able to incentivize the Reds to take on a little less than half of Wilson’s remaining salary, as well as his $2.3MM player option for next season. That was of particular import given the Yankees’ apparent insistence on narrowly ducking below the first luxury tax threshold.
For the Reds, picking up Cessa and Wilson (as well as Mychal Givens in a later deal with the Rockies) was part of a broader effort to remake a struggling bullpen. As a whole, the relief corps has continued to struggle in recent weeks, but Cessa and Wilson have both been stabilizing forces at the back end. Cessa has allowed four runs over 10 1/3 frames since the trade, while Wilson has worked 9 2/3 innings of two-run ball.