The bullpen has been a problem of persistence for the Cincinnati Reds throughout this 2021 season. That’s no surprise on paper, really, given that they jettisoned Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley over the winter to save some coin, opted to pencil-in Michael Lorenzen as rotation help, and did very little in the way of actual investment in filling in for them on the free agent or trade markets.
As a result, the Reds have seen late leads turn into losses of late, and are therefore hovering on the cusp of playoff relevance at this trade deadline with a 52-49 overall record. Finally, though, it appears they’re seeking help from outside, and swung a trade with the New York Yankees early Wednesday morning in that direction.
Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson will be joining the Reds from New York, with a player to be named later heading the other direction at some point to level the transaction.
The #Reds have acquired RHP Luis Cessa and LHP Justin Wilson from the Yankees in exchange for a player to be named later.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 28, 2021
Welcome, @LuisCessaMx and Justin!
RHP Ashton Goudeau and RHP Edgar Garcia have been designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/lobKDgqX1M
If you squint, the Reds get a pair of proven relievers with ample experience in playoff chases. If you look a little bit closer, however, it would appear the Reds are getting Cessa in the midst of a solid season and are absorbing Wilson’s contract in order to ensure they don’t have to forfeit too much prospect capital in return.
Either way, in Cessa they’re getting a groundball machine, a RHP who has pitched to a 145 ERA+ in 60 IP since the start of last season despite not being a prototypical fireballer. That alone will help bolster this Reds ‘pen, and if Wilson can regain anywhere close to the form he had before signing with the Yankees this offseason, they’ll get a lefty that can fan batters with the best of them.
(And at this juncture, with what they’ve seen from their bullpen overall, what’s to lose if they don’t?)
It’s not a mountain-mover of a deal, but it’s something. Maybe they’ll get around to trading for a bona fide lockdown reliever next like, I dunno, Raisel Iglesias.