Did the Yankees save money with their latest transaction, completed just before 1:00 AM after Tuesday’s series-opening win over the Rays? Yes.
But is that all they did? Or is there something more important coming?
There’s no way the team really plans to play with a roster full of holes on Wednesday night in the second game, right? There’s no way this trade of a reliable reliever attached to a regressing one was just about saving a $2.2 million player option for next year … right?
Never underestimate the Yankees’ stinginess, but at first blush, there simply has to be more to the late-night trade of reliable middle reliever Luis Cessa, who was attached to Justin Wilson and shipped to Cincinnati.
Cessa’s final outing in pinstripes will go down as his brilliant five-pitch eighth inning at Fenway, just before Chad Green’s meltdown capped by Kiké Hernandez’s double.
Justin Wilson’s final outing in pinstripes? Who knows? Who cares?
Yankees trade Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to clear roster spots.
If the Yankees don’t have replacements in place by first pitch Wednesday and decide to play short-handed against the Rays instead, that’ll be embarrassing. On Thursday night, who had Sal Romano outlasting Cessa on the Yanks’ roster?
Wilson was part of the replacement plan for Adam Ottavino’s money this season and, quite frankly, it didn’t work out. Post-hamstring injury Wilson looked a lot like pre-hamstring injury Wilson, and his second tenure in the uniform will always be marked by that down-to-the-last-strike loss against the Tigers.
Cessa, though, has been here for a long time — ever since being traded for Wilson following the 2015 season. From failed starter to mop-up man to above-average reliever, it’s been a surprisingly long and often fruitful journey, and as long as he keeps relying on his slider, he’ll be a standout in the NL Central.
Consensus seems to be this move was a precursor to something larger and not just a fringe money-saving maneuver, but Ken Rosenthal’s assessment both encouraged and discouraged us.
So … they’re looking to upgrade their bullpen, then they’ll possibly consider a shortstop or a lefty bat? No. Do both. Both, both, both. Lefty bats and relievers are both entirely necessary, even just to tread water and stay in the mix.
If this double-barreled trade was a precursor to the Joey Gallo deal we’ve heard rumored for a while, then great. But if it’s just an omen indicating we’re about to add another controllable Clay Holmes type and Freddy Galvis, consider us out.