Category: Trades Page 2 of 4

Yankees trade Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Reds

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Good morning all. If you’re like me, you woke up to a somewhat surprising move from the Yankees today. About an hour or so after last night’s win, the team announced that they traded relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Reds for a player to be named later.

Moving Cessa is a bit perplexing, as it may mean more innings for the likes of Nick Nelson, Albert Abreu, and/or Brooks Kriske. Dumping Wilson isn’t surprising. He’s been ineffective and seemed like an obvious option to send packing in order to add space under the luxury tax threshold. In sum, this move appears to be a precursor for more things to come. The front office is trying to meet Hal Steinbrenner’s luxury tax demands while also buying at the deadline.

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that we absolutely loathe the Yankees penny-pinching. The Yankees should never, ever, dump salary on a team like the Reds. The Reds! A small market team in Cincinnati. I don’t care that it’s only a couple of million dollars. It’s a sad reminder of how Hal operates this ballclub.

Cessa, 29, has a 2.82 ERA in 38.1 innings this season and a 3.64 ERA since 2019. He blossomed into a really nice low leverage reliever who ostensibly will be tested in higher pressure situations in Cincinnati. The Reds will have him for two more seasons after this one, too. He’s not a free agent until after the 2023 campaign.

The Yankees signed Wilson as a free agent this winter and clearly regretted doing so. He was supposed to be a sturdy middle relief option, but instead, he’s either struggled or been hurt. The lefty tossed 18 innings of 7.50 ERA ball for the Bombers this year. He has a $2.3 million player option for next season.

Per Cot’s, Cessa is due $383,871 the rest of the season, which will reduce the Yankees’ luxury tax payroll accordingly. Wilson’s AAV is $2.575 million, though he’s due $1,041,936 of his $2.85 million salary the rest of this year according to Cot’s. If you take the same ratio of remaining salary to actual salary applied to his AAV, the Yankees will save something like $940,000 in luxury tax payroll here. So between the two dealt: something around $1.3 million in luxury tax payroll savings this season.

So, not huge savings, but it does create a little more room for the Yankees to improve the roster. We’ll see what’s to come by Friday’s deadline.

Yanks Trade Hoy-Jun Park, Diego Castillo to Pirates for RHP Clay Holmes

Well, there it is, folks: your big trade deadline acquisition. The Yankees traded Hoy-Jun Park and Diego Castillo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Clay Holmes today. That’ll solve the problem, right? In all seriousness, there’s not too much to get worked up about here. Let’s quickly break it down, shall we?

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: this is going to ruffle the feathers of some regular DoTF readers. That’s mostly because Park (25-years-old) and Castillo (23-years-old) have been killing it this year. Some fans have become fixated on Park in particular and hoped to see him get a shot in the Bronx this year. Makes sense given the state of things. And he’s been really good, and so has Castillo. To wit:

  • Hoy-Jun Park, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: .327/.475/.567 (177 wRC+) with exactly the same rate of walks and strikeouts (20.6% apiece)
  • Diego Castillo, Double-A Somerset Patriots: .277/.345/.504 (127 wRC+) with a 13.7% strikeout rate against a career-best 8.4% walk rate

That all said, it’s important to pump the brakes a bit here. Park was a non-prospect coming into 2021. Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs didn’t bother including him on the Yankees’ top 48 prospects before the season – though he did note that he had “average contact/patience” and could be a “bench infielder” – and Baseball America hasn’t written a scouting report on Park since 2016. It was nice to see him take a step forward, but a top prospect Park is not.

Castillo is the bigger loss. He’s younger and has really impressive bat-to-ball skills, striking out just 197 times in nearly 1,900 professional plate appearances. He topped out as the #27 ranked organizational prospect with Baseball America in 2018. But it’s still tough to see a future for Castillo with the Yanks, and he also is not a high-upside prospect.

More importantly, both Park and Castillo are Rule 5 eligible after the season. I noted this a few weeks ago in a mailbag and called them “interesting” cases because they’ve had good seasons but didn’t seem to be a great fit. This move helps clear some of that logjam.

In Clay Holmes, the Yankees get another reliever you’ve likely never heard of. The 28-year-old righty has 119.2 career innings, all with Pittsburgh, which explains that. He’s been in their pen on-and-off since 2018. As you probably guessed, given the Yankees, Holmes has an interesting profile.

First, he is a sinker baller who generates exceptional ground ball rates. He uses the sinker about 50% of the time in his career, though he also mixes in a curveball and slider. The sinker is hard, too, averaging north of 95-miles-per-hour in 2021. Here is a good illustration of that skill in action:

And yes, you’re seeing that correctly: that’s a GB% north of 70% on the season, which is enough to lead the league among all relievers with at least 30 innings pitched. He also limits hard contact, which is obviously a good thing – the average contact leaves opposing bats at just 86.6 miles-per-hour this year. Lots of grounders and soft contact. You could find a worse profile.

He should also have some success in Yankee Stadium, even though lefties (.368 wOBA) hit him better than righties (.298 wOBA). He’s allowed a few right-field homers, but this is a spray and heat chart that will work:

The big issue – barring health, as he was sidelined last year with a forearm strain that led him to be non-tendered in December – is the walks. He has a ridiculous 15% walk rate in his career (13.2% in 2021). Obviously, this limits his effectiveness and explains his career line of 5-7, 5.57 ERA (4.71 FIP). If, and this is always the if, the Yankees can make a tweak or two to reign in the command and control, there’s upside here. And even if not, he is a potentially useful middle-innings reliever. Lord knows the Yankees need those these days.

All in all, this is a fine trade. There is nothing to be angry about here. The Yanks cleared a Rule 5 logjam and added a bullpen piece. Let’s just hope that’s step one and not all they do before month’s end.

Report: Yankees trade Adam Ottavino to Red Sox

Here’s something you don’t see too often: the Yankees and Red Sox have struck a deal. Adam Ottavino has been shipped out to Boston in what assuredly is a salary dump. Ottavino is due $8 million in 2021 and a $3 million signing bonus in 2022, of which Boston will pay all but $850,000. For doing the Yanks this favor, the Red Sox also acquired prospect Frank German, a right handed pitcher.

This move subtracts $8.15 million from the Yankees’ payroll for luxury tax purposes (Ottavino’s hit was $9 million, now reduced by the $850k). You have to figure that this is a precursor to more activity coming, such as a reunion with Brett Gardner.

Additionally, this trade clears up another 40-man spot. The Yanks now have two open, so the DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber deals will likely become official in short order.

Ottavino initially signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Yankees ahead of the 2019 season. The righty posted a 2.76 ERA in 84.2 innings with the Bombers, his hometown team. He was often inconsistent and didn’t have complete trust of his manager Aaron Boone, as evidenced by sparse usage in the last two postseasons.

German, 23, was the Yankees’ 4th round pick in 2018 and is Rule 5 eligible this winter. He last pitched in High-A in 2019 and recorded a 3.79 ERA and 4.19 FIP in 76 innings. He was the club’s 24th-best prospect per MLB Pipeline.

This is the first trade between the two sides since the Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson swap in 2014. Before that, the last trade between the Yanks and Boston occurred in 1997.

Yankees Acquire Jameson Taillon from Pirates

Friends, it is a done deal. After a few writers on both the Pirates and Yankees beats reported a deal was done, Jeff Passan came in with the details. The trade involves Miguel Yajure, Roansy Contreras, Maikel Escotto, and Caanan Smith on the Yanks side:

I like this trade a lot. First, the package feels right for a pitcher of Taillon’s caliber with injury concerns. It’s a quantity-over-quality package, really. I don’t mean to take anything away from them, some of whom I liked a bit, but they’re mid-level prospects. For what it’s worth, MLB’s Pipeline ranks Yajure 15th, Contreras 19th, and Smith 21st without ranking Escotto in the Yankees system. Feels fair to me.

Second, it starts to clear a very real 40-man backlog. As I noted earlier today, Yajure and Contreras are each on the 40-man. The Yankees will still need to clear one spot, but Taillon is a smart use of 40-man consolidation. None of them were likely to help the Yanks in 2021. Taillon, of course, will. I’ll have detailed thoughts on this shortly, but I love Taillon as an acquisition. For more on him, check out what Derek wrote on him back in December for a quick refresher.

This is a very exciting move that has the potential to really shore up the rotation. Good stuff, Yankees.

2020 Trade Deadline Thread

  • 4:00 p.m. EDT: Ding ding ding. Nothing for the Yankees today, unless we get a surprise late announcement like the Zack Greinke trade last year.
  • 3:40 p.m. EDT: Cashman has a few “narrowed-down” talks for relievers and position players. (Brendan Kuty)
  • 3:39 p.m. EDT: Boston makes a move. Kevin Pillar goes to the Rockies. (Mark Feinsand)
  • 3:34 p.m. EDT: Old friend alert. Milwaukee traded David Phelps to the Phillies. He reunites with another old friend, Joe Girardi. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • 3:19 p.m. EDT: The Yankees aren’t optimistic about getting a deal done, though they’ve been in touch on Gausman, Bundy, and Lynn. (Heyman)
  • 2:58 p.m. EDT: Another deal: Jonathan Villar from Miami to Toronto. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • 2:56 p.m. EDT: The Marlins are close to landing Marte. Take him off the Yankees’ wish list. (Craig Mish)
  • 2:22 p.m. EDT: The Diamondbacks appear likely to move OF Starling Marte for the best deal they can get by 4 p.m. The team does not intend to pick up his 2021 option, so a trade will have to do. (Joel Sherman)
  • 2:07 p.m. EDT: Texas “would love” to get Deivi García for Lynn. Duh. (T.R. Sullivan)
  • 1:52 p.m. EDT: The Blue Jays have acquired LHP Robbie Ray from Arizona. He’s been awful this year, but has been connected to the Yankees in the past. (Rob Longley)
  • 1:41 p.m. EDT: The Yankees have checked in on RHP Kevin Gausman. (Heyman)
  • 1:05 p.m. EDT: The Yankees have been in touch with the Rangers over the last 48 hours regarding Lynn. (Jon Morosi)
  • 12:40 p.m. EDT: The Rangers could be motivated to trade RHP Lance Lynn. The team may regret not dealing Minor last year, so they don’t want to make that mistake with Lynn while his value is high. (Joel Sherman)
  • 12:31 p.m. EDT: Another trade: LHP Mike Minor from the Rangers to the A’s for two players to be named later. Mark another pitcher off the board who could have fit the Yankees. (Jeff Passan)
  • 12:25 p.m. EDT: Radio silence in terms of Yankees-related rumors at this point. As per Martino’s report linked below, it sure seems possible that the Yankees don’t make any moves.
  • 11:15 a.m. EDT: Clevinger is off to San Diego. Cross one target off the Yankees’ list. (Robert Murray)
  • 10:25 a.m. EDT: The prices are too high for the Yankees at the moment. They’re not anywhere close on RHP Mike Clevinger or RHP Lance Lynn. It’s also not clear if San Francisco will move RHP Kevin Gausman. (Andy Martino)

T-minus six hours until the 4 p.m. EDT trade deadline. A number of trades went down yesterday — none of them involving the Yankees — and a few more are sure to occur today. We’ll update this post for any deals made and rumors involving the Yankees throughout the day. Here are the latest Yankees-related rumors:

  • The Yankees have talked to the Brewers about LHP Josh Hader, but there’s “no traction” there. They’ve also checked in on RHP Mike Clevinger. (Jon Heyman)
  • CF Starling Marte is on the Yankees’ radar. (Joel Sherman)
  • A deal for Marte could be expanded to include LHP Robbie Ray and/or RHP Archie Bradley. (Heyman)
  • The Yanks are reluctant to add any more salary via trade, which could make a Marte (or any other trade) complicated. (Ken Rosenthal)

To get you up to speed on official transactions, here are the moves from yesterday:

  • Boston traded 1B Mitch Moreland to San Diego for prospects 3B Hudson Potts and CF Jeisson Rosario.
  • Tampa Bay dealt DH José Martínez to the Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.
  • Baltimore sent RHP Mychal Givens to Colorado in return for minor leaguers 1B/3B Tyler Nevin, SS Terrin Vavra, and a player to be named later.
  • The Angels moved C Jason Castro to San Diego for RHP Gerardo Reyes.
  • Seattle swapped UTIL Austin Nola, RHP Austin Adams, and RHP Dan Altavilla to San Diego for IF Ty France, C Luis Torrens, RHP Andres Munoz, and top OF prospect Taylor Trammell.
  • Baltimore dealt LHP Tommy Milone to Atlanta for a player to be named later.

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