Yankees trade two major league relievers to Cincinnati in salary dump

luis cessa, yankees

If you thought the New York Yankees would pass the luxury tax threshold at the trade deadline in an effort to improve the team’s chances of making the playoffs, that doesn’t appear to be the case after their most recent transaction.

We all woke up on Wednesday with the news that the Yankees traded relievers Justin Wilson and Luis Cessa to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later, in what should be effectively viewed as a salary dump in the mold of the Adam Ottavino trade with Boston in the offseason.

The Yankees’ angle appears to be getting rid of some salary with the anticipation of making another move prior to Friday’s deadline, presumably for Texas slugger Joey Gallo, Rockies’ star Trevor Story, or Marlins dynamic outfielder Starling Marte.

What does this tell us? It seems like the Yankees are trying to fit another piece but won’t be surpassing the soft cap in doing so. They want to avoid being taxed at all costs, even if it means trading a good reliever.

The Yankees lost a good reliever in Cessa

The left-handed Wilson hadn’t been reliable at any point this season for the Yankees, even hitting the injured list a couple of times. However, Cessa had evolved into a good reliever, a piece capable of contributing to a team with playoff aspirations.

Perhaps the Yankees wanted to get rid of Wilson’s salary and had to sacrifice Cessa to find a trade partner.

According to NJ Advance Media, “the wheeling and dealing, which included the Pittsburgh Pirates trading right-hander Clay Holmes to the Yankees for two minor leaguers on Monday, saves $1.08 million towards the $210 million luxury tax threshold. According to Cots Baseball, the Yankees’ luxury tax number now is $207,631,173, which computes to $2.369 million under.”

The 29-year-old Cessa is 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 relief appearances this season for the Yankees.

New York Yankees: 3 takeaways from Yankees nail-biter win over the Rays

luis cessa, yankees

The New York Yankees entered last night’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays with a certain urgency to get a win so they would have a chance to win a series, after losing one to their other rival the Boston Red Sox. Although it was a nail-biter late, the Yankees came away with the 4-3 win.

Montgomery pitches a gem

As he has so many times before, although having early game struggles, Jordan Montgomery kept the Yankees in the game. The Tampa Bay Rays hitters made Monty work hard through the first two innings. He used 51 pitches to get through the two innings. But from then on through the fifth inning, he pretty much breezed through the Rays lineup using 102 pitches. In the end, Monty didn’t give up a run and finally got a run of support.

Montgomery got his first win since June 2nd. Although the Yankee lineup has let down most of their pitchers, Monty has been the poster boy for no run support. He has given up an average of just 1.8 runs per game in his past seven starts while getting absolutely no run support. His command and control seem to be getting better with each start.

Concerning takeaway from Yankee win

After a devasting loss to the Boston Red Sox in the last game of that series, the Yankees needed to get a good start to this Tampa Bay series so they could have a chance to take the series. They did that with a 4-3 win last night. But, make no mistake about it, Monty won that game, not the Yankee lineup. The Yankees did get 10 hits in the game but went 3 for 16 with men in scoring position, leaving 11 Yankees on base. Twice they hit into double plays and lead all of baseball in that stat. The Yankees blew several opportunities to blow the game wide open.

Another concern was the Yankee bullpen

At the start of the season, industry sources said that the New York Yankees had one of the best bullpens in baseball, but in July, that has been disproven. Several relievers had pitiful outings. Last night after Montgomery pitched a solid five innings, the usually efficient Chad Green entered in the sixth inning, gave up two runs, and took 32 pitches to get through one inning. Zack Britton game up another run in the eighth.

In the ninth inning and Montgomery’s win almost blown, Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch the ninth. Although he got the win, it was another nail-biting inning for the pitcher and fans. Chapman has struggled since the end of June, and last night was no different. First, he gave up a walk, and it took him 19 pitches to get out of the inning.

Yankees trade away long time reliever

In a puzzling move, the New York Yankee front office announced that they had traded long-time long-haul reliever Luis Cessa to the Cincinnati Reds at the end of last night’s game. Also included in the trade was Justin Wilson, and they got back nothing except a player to be named later.

Cessa has been the go-to long reliever for the last two New York Yankee managers. In his eleven seasons, he has a 55-54 record and an ERA of 3.74, which is very good for a reliever that usually enters the game with runners on base and has to give the team several innings of long relief.

This season has been his best with the Yankees. The 29-year-old is inducing ground balls at a massive 56.8% clip this year. Statcast shows he’s been among the top twenty percent of pitchers in suppressing opponents’ average exit velocity, hard contact, and barrels. In 38 1/3 innings, this season he has earned a career-best 2.82 ERA.

The only explanation I can come up with to get rid of Cessa involves Justin Wilson, who has not pitched well for the Yankees; he has an ERA of 7.50 in 18 innings of work and a contract that costs the Yankees close to $3 million. This amounts to a Yankees salary dump; unfortunately, the Yankees lose Cessa in the deal. Yankee fans can only hope that the salary dump brings something good to the team later this week.

It must have been quite a shock to Cessa, who has spent his last six years in the majors with the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees pummeled by the Washington Nationals 11-3

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

The New York Yankees met up with the Washington Nationals tonight at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees’ Jameson Taillon faced the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin in the first game of a three-game set ending the Yankees longest homestand of the season. Although some of the names were the same, this is not the same team that won the 2019 World Series. The Nationals finished at the bottom of the NL East last season. The Nationals were coming off 3 straight losses to the Atlanta Braves, and the Yankees were coming off winning two of three against the Houston Astros.

In the first inning, Jameson Taillon faced off against the Nationals Trea Turner, who ground out to Miguel Andujar at first. Andujar was called up to replace Gio Urshela, who was injured in last night’s game against the Astros. Why the career 3rd baseman was playing first, I had no idea. Jost Harrison popped out to second. Juan Soto ground out for a fast inning for Taillon. DJ LeMahieu started off the bottom with a home run to right. Stanton gound out. Aaron Judge ground out. Gleyber Torres ground out to short, but the Yankees got the lead with the DJ home run. New York Yankees 1 Nats 0.

Josh Bell tied it up immediately in the top of the second inning with a home run of his own. Starlin Castro flew out to Judge in right. Kyle Schwarber walked. Yan Gomes had a two-run home run to put the Nationals up three runs.  Yadiel Hernandez ground out. Victor Robles ground out, but the Nationals picked up three runs for the Nationals 3, the Yankees 1. At the bottom, Aaron Hicks had a line drive out. Gary Sanchez hit a homer to center. Clint Frazier flew out to center. In his 2021 major league debut, Miguel Andujar flew out to the warning track in center field to end the inning. Nationals 3 Yankees 2.

At the top of the third inning, Turner ground out to Wade at second. Harrison flew out to left, but Clint Frazier made another phenomenal play catching the ball at the warning track. Juan Soto struck out for a 1-2-3 inning for Taillon. At the bottom, Tyler Wade led off by grounding out to first with a flip to the pitcher for the out. Lemahieu hit to right for a single. Giancarlo Stanton almost hit another home run to right. Aaron Judge struck out to end the inning scoreless. Nats 3 Yanks 1.

Leading off the top of the fourth was Josh Bell, who ground out to Wade. Castro ground out. Schwarber struck out for 8 in and row for Taillon after the home run. At the bottom, Torres gound out. Hicks gound out to left, and Sanchez struck out as Corbin put down the Yankees in order. Nats 3 Yankees 2.

Leading off the fifth, Hernandez rolled back to Taillon. Gomez ground out, and Robles flew out to Hicks to end the half 1-2-3 for Taillon. Clint Frazier led off the bottom by flying out to center. Andujar ground out to second. Tayler Wade ground to first as they went down for the very fast inning for both pitchers. Nats 3 Yankees 2.

At the top of the sixth, with Taillon still on the mount, turner flew out. Harrison ground out. Juan Soto struck out with Taillon putting down the last fourteen Nationals in a row. At the bottom, it was the top of the lineup for the Yankees. LeMahieu started the bottom by getting his second home run of the game to tie it up. Stanton flew out to left. Judge flew out. Torres flew out to right to end the inning, but the New York Yankees tied it up at 3 apiece.

Bell led off the top of the seventh with Taillon still on the mound; he flew out to Judge in right. Castro singled. And that was the last pitch for Taillon. He was replaced by Wandy Peralta, who faced the lefty Schwarber who struck out. Gomes struck out, leaving a Nats on base. With Corbin out of the game, Kyle Finnegan struck out Hicks. Sanchez walked. A passed ball to Gomes allowed Sanchez to go to second base. Frazier ground out to short. Andujar flew out for far center, and the game remained tied at 3 apiece.

At the top of the eighth, Hernandez led off against Jonathan Loaisiga replacing Jameson Taillon. Hernandez doubled was Judge did not cleanly handle the catch for an error. Robles made it to first on another error for the Yankees in the same inning, Hernandez to third on the DJ error. Hernandez scored on the Turner single. Harrison homered to left for a 3 run homer and the 7-3 lead for the Nationals. Loaigia had allowed only 2 runs in his first 14 outings and now four runs in one inning.  Juan Soto singled. Josh Bell struck out. Loaisiga was replaced by Luis Cessa facing Starlin Castro, who walked on four straight pitches. Schwarber, with two on and two outs, doubled as Soto scored another run, as the wheels have fallen off for the Yankees. Gomes reached on an error by Torres. Stevenson walked. Robles went down on strikes. Turner ground out but six runs scored in the inning. Nationals 9 Yankees 3.

Tyler Wade led off the bottom of eighth inning against Tanner Rainy; he walked. LeMahieu went down on strikes after going 3 for 3 and two home runs. Stanton, with a 12 game hitting streak, went down on strikes. Judge struck out for Rainy’s third strikeout of the inning. The Nationals blew the game open with 6 runs.

At the top of the ninth inning, Harrison led off by walking against Cessa still in there. Soto hit a homer to center for the Nat’s 11th run in the game. Bell lined out to LeMahieu fr the first out. Castro singled. Schwarber hit into the force for the second out. Gomes flew out to Hicks on Cessa’s 42 pitch of the game. With last licks on the line for the New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres faced Will Harris. Torres struck out swinging. Hicks walked. Sanchez, who homered in the third, flew out to the warning track in center. Hicks took second on defensive indifference. Frazier singled, driving in Hicks for the Yankees’ fourth run. Andujar ground out to end the game.

Final score Washington Nationals 11 and the New York Yankees 4. The winning pitcher was Finnegan, and the loser was Jonathan Loaisiga. The game looked good for the Yankees through seven innings, but then it all fell apart. The Nationals got 9 runs in the last two innings.

Tomorrow in a matinee matchup, game two will take place between these two teams at Yankee Stadium. Corey Kluber will face the Nationals’ Max Scherzer. The game will be televised on the YES Network, MASN, and MLBN out of market.

 

New York Yankee Player Profiles: Luis Cessa, is this his year to shine?

The New York Yankees Luis Cessa is a seldom talked about Yankee pitcher, but his relief is indispensable when the starting pitcher fails to perform. Over the last six years, he has been the Yankees’ go-to middle reliever. This season he is turning some heads. In four games, he has an ERA of .000 and is striking out 15.4 hitters per nine innings pitched. That is nearly double his best performance in 2019.

Before the beginning of spring training, he signed a one-year deal with the New York Yankees to pay him just over a million dollars this season. He will be a free agent in 2024. For those that don’t know much about the multi-lingual reliever, here is a look at his life and how he got to the Yankees.

Luis Cessa was born Luis Enrique Cessa and was born on April 25, 1992, in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico. He is an American citizen and speaks English as his second language.

Cessa, in his native Cordoba, played baseball as a boy in the sandlots around his neighborhood.  He continued to play ball for his high school team. He played at shortstop but transitioned to pitching in his high school years, where he was often the best pitcher on the team. Cessa was scouted and agreed on a contract with the New York Mets as an international free agent in July 2008. In 2009, He made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Mets, where he again played as a shortstop for the first two seasons, transitioning into a pitcher in 2011.

In the summer of 2015, Cessa was traded to the Detroit Tigers.  He was added to the Tigers 40 man roster after the 2015 season.  But in the offseason, he was traded to the New York Yankees along with pitcher Chad Green. In 2016, Cessa was named to the Yankees’ Opening Day roster in 2016. On April 8, 2016, he made his debut for the Yankees against his former Detroit Tigers.

Cessa spent the majority of 2016 at the minor league affiliate Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Raiders.  But on June 26, the Yankees called Cessa up from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and on June 29, He had his first major league win, pitching three innings of 1-run relief.

In 2017 while bouncing back and forth from the Rail Riders to the Yankees, he played in 10 games in middle relief.  In 2018 that increased to 18 games.  Although not the best pitcher, Cessa was making a name for himself as a New York Yankee middle reliever.  He spent 2019 at the Stadium.  He was mostly used as a middle reliever in 43 games, although he did save one game.  In one of his wins last year, he struck out seven in three and two-thirds innings.

During the 2019 ALDS against the Minnesota Twins and in the ALCS against the Houston Astros, the 28-year-old Cessa pitched four scoreless innings in relief. This year with the Yankees watching the starting pitcher innings adjust to a 162 game season, middle relief will be an integral part of the Yankee plan.

Cessa is not only a reliable pitcher to eat up innings when the starter fails to perform but has regularly been used when there is an opener instead of a starter.  The combination of Chad Green and Cessa had been beneficial to the New York Yankees in those games.

Luis Cessa has a warm personality that has caused him to be well accepted by all the Yankee players, and he is considered a valuable teammate in the bullpen. The affable Cessa has a main squeeze in Nancy Arreola, a media personality for TV Azteca in Mexico.  They have been going together for several years, and their bond is strong.  She even has a photo of them together as the header on her Twitter page.

New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from “Monty’s” win over the O’s

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

The word of the day is shutout. Last night the New York Yankees shut out the Baltimore Orioles 7-0. Starter Jordan Montgomery was brilliant, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were powerful, and the New York Yankees went 3 for 6 with men in scoring position. Although everyone didn’t take part in the party, the Yankee bats came to life.

Jordan Montgomery has the best start of the season

Last night against the Baltimore Orioles, Jordan Montgomery was totally dominant. He had command of all of his pitches and put down Oriole after Oriole. He went six innings striking out seven O’s, without issuing a walk. And, of course, he did not allow an Oriole run. In tandem, Luis Cessa replaced him in the seventh inning and continued where Montgomery left off pitching two clean innings while striking out 3. To complete the excellent night, Aroldis Chapman closed out the ninth inning striking out three.

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that Montgomery pitched so well; in his 3 spring training starts, he had a tiny ERA of 0.90 across 10 innings of work. Last year Monty didn’t have the best of seasons, going 2-3 with an ERA of 5.11 but rebound nicely in the postseason with an ERA of 2.25. His career average ERA is 4.14. “Monty” is very positive this year, two years out from his Tommy John surgery, and is poised to become an important part of the rotation, if last night’s performance is any indication he seems headed for success.

471′ Grand Slam for Giancarlo Stanton

Few baseball players hit the ball as hard as Giancarlo Stanton. Last night against the Baltimore Orioles, he showed off with the New York Yankees’ first Grand Slam of the young season. The night started with Aaron Judge hitting a cheap 340′ home run off Jorge Lopez, just over the short right-field wall. But with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and with two outs, Giancarlo Stanton walked up to the plate and slammed a homer 471′ far into the stands for the Yankees 6-0 lead.

It was reported by Michael Kay of the YES Network that the homer was off a pitch that was thrown at 92 mph by Orioles pitcher Shawn Armstrong but exited Stanton’s bat at 115.1 mph. After playing in only 18 games during the 2020 regular season, Stanton came alive in the postseason, hitting 6 home runs in just seven postseason games. Last night he had the first of many home runs to come.

Part of the secret to the New York Yankees’ success in 2021 is to keep both Judge and Stanton healthy. If they can stay on the field together, there will be no stopping the Yankees. In games that both Judge and Stanton have hit home runs, the Yankees have a record of 8-0.

The Yankees hit with men in scoring position

Yesterday I wrote an article critical of the Yankee’s ability to hit the ball. Over the last 12 games of spring training, the Yankees scored only 3.1 runs per game. In the first 3 games of the new season, they scored just 2.1 runs per game. Anyone that knows anything about baseball knows that thy kind of run production doesn’t win games.

I pointed out that this was not a new problem for the Yankees, pointing out that it happened for periods last season and in past postseasons when the championship was on the line. Last night the Yankees showed what they could do hitting, and hitting with men in scoring position. Now they have to find a way to be consistent with their hitting.

The Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will face the Baltimore Oriole’s Dean Kremer in a 6:35 pm game at Yankee Stadium tonight. Cole in his first start struck out 8 in a no-decision game. Tonight he will get his chance to get his first win of the season, hopefully, the Yankee bats will cooperate. The game will be broadcast in Baltimore and in the New York area on the YES Network.

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Jordan Montgomery shined, Stanton Grand Slams in Yankees win over the O’s

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees met the Baltimore Orioles tonight in the first game of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were 1-2 on the young season, and the Orioles were 3-0. Jordan Mongomery made his regular-season debut for the Yankees, and Jorge Lopez was on the mound for the O’s.

Cedric Mullins led off against Montgomery; he flew out to left. Mancini flew out to Gleyber Torres. Ryan Mountcastle flew out to left for an easy inning for “Monty.” At the bottom of the first, DJ LeMahieu against Lopez, and he ground out to the second base. Aaron Judge hit sharply up the middle for a single. Aaron Hicks flew out to far left. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging to end the inning. No score.

Facing Montgomery in the second inning was Maikal Franco, who ground out to Urshela. Pedro Severino struck out. Pat Valaika ground out to end the half for another easy inning for Montgomery. Gleyber Torres was first up against Lopez in the second; he struck out. Gary Sanchez struck out for Lopez’s third strikeout. Jay Bruce ground out to first. The Yankees went down in order. No score.

Freddie Galvis led off the third inning by lining into center for the O’s first runner of the game. Ramon Urais went down on strikes, and it went seven up and seven down for Monty. Ryan McKenna struck out. Mullins led the majors last year in bunts with 9. Galvis stole second base. Mullins struck out, leaving a guy on base. At the bottom against Lopez, Urshela flew out to right field. Clint Frazier, who was batting .444, lined to second. LeMahieu struck out to end the inning in was what turned out to be a pitching duel. No score.

Trey Mancini led off the fourth inning by striking out for Monty’s 5th strikeout. Mountcastle popped right back to Monty for the second out. Franco had a high popout to Urshela to end the half. Aaron Judge led off the bottom with his first home run of the season. Hicks stuck out. Stanton hit back to Lopez for the second out of the half. Gleyber Torres singled to short. Gary Sanchez stuck out, but the Yankees took the lead with Aaron Judge’s 340′ home run over the right-field wall. Yankees 1 O’s 0.

Severino led off against Monty in the fifth with a base hit. Valaika ground out. At this point in the fifth inning, Monty only had 58 pitches in the game. Galvis flew out to Frazier on the warning track. Urias singled past Judge, and Valaika went to third. With men on the corner and two outs, McKenna ground out to Torres to leave two Orioles on the bases. At the bottom of the fifth, Jay Bruce led off by walking. Gio Urshela had a roller to short; they got the force out at second. Clint Frazier ground out, Urshela to second. LeMahieu walked, with Aaron Judge coming up. Judge with two outs walked to load the bases with Yankees. That walk knocked Lopez out of the game in favor of Shawn Armstong.  Aaron Hicks went full count and then walked, bringing Urshela home for the two-run lead. Giancarlo Stanton got the Yankee’s first grand slam of the season; a 471′ shot putting the Yankees 6 runs up. Torres ended the inning by striking out. New York Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Mullins led off the sixth against Montgomery. He singled. Mancini went down on strikes. Mountcastle struck out, and Franco flew out to Hicks in center. Monty was great through 6 innings. At the bottom, Sanchez faced O’s reliever Fry and ground out to second. Bruce worked his second walk of the night. Urshela singled. With a man on first and second and one out, Frazier singled to load the bases again for the Yankees. LeMahieu singled with an RBI, putting the Yankees up 7 runs. That run knocked Fry out of the game in favor of Mac Sceroler in his major league debut facing Aaron Judge, who went down looking. Aaron Hicks flew out to end the inning, but the Yankees picked up another run. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

After an excellent start, by Montgomery, a shut out over 6 innings for the New York Yankees, Luis Cessa took over the mound for the Yankees in the seventh. Severino went down swinging. Valaika flew out to Judge. Galvis ground out for a perfect inning for Cessa. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton led off; he flew out sharply. Torres flew out to right field. Sanchez went down on strikes for his 0 for 4 night. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

At the top of the eighth, Mike Tauchman took over of Frazier in left, and Frazier moved to right field to take over for Aaron Judge. With Cessa out for a second inning, Urias struck out. McKenna walked. Mullins hit into the force out. Mancini stuck out for another good inning for Cessa. Jay Bruce led off the bottom by striking out. Urshela had a long fly out to the center field. Frazier walked. LeMahieu got a wild pitch moving Frazier to second base. DJ walked to put two on base. Mike Tauchman got his first at-bat went down on strikes. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

Aroldis Chapman came out in the ninth inning to close it out for New York Yankees. Mountcastle struck out. Franco struck out, and Severino walked. Valaika struck out to end the game. The final score was 7-0; the winning pitcher was Jordan Montgomery and the loser Jorge Lopez. The Yankees are 8-0 in games that Judge and Stanton both hit home runs. Montgomery allowed no runs walking none while striking out 7 O’s.

 

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Corey Kluber fails in Yankee loss to the Phillies

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The New York Yankees were in Clearwater, Florida, today taking on the Philadelphia Phillies. Corey Kluber started for the Yankees and Zack Wheeler for the Phillies. It was 84 degrees and cloudy at game time. The Yankees lost the game 6-2.

Zack Wheeler took to the mound to face DJ LeMahieu. DJ ground out to second. Gleyber Torres walked on eight pitches. Aaron Hicks was called out on strikes. Jay Bruce in for Luke Voit that is having knee surgery, but his at-bat couldn’t be completed at Gleyber Torres was caught stealing second base for the final out of the half. Corey Kluber took the mound at the bottom facing Andrew McCutchen; McCutchen singled to short. Rhys Hoskins flew out, and Bryce Harper struck out, Bohm walked, Gregorious ground out to end the inning.

Jay Bruce led off the top of the second; he doubled to centerfield. Clint Frazier ground out to second, Gary Sanchez struck out. Mike Tauchman struck out on Wheeler’s eight-pitch of the at-bat. Segura faced Kluber at the bottom and walked. Miller struck out, and Herrera struck out swinging. Knapp flew out to Aaron Hicks for the final out of the inning. No score.

Austin Wells led off the third for the Yankees; he was called out on strikes. Wade ground out to Gregorius, and DJ ground out to end the half. At the bottom, McCutchen struck out, Hoskins singled, and Harper walked for two on and no outs. Bohm singled to load the bases. Gregorius was hit by a pitch driving in Hoskins as Kluber lacked control. Segura had a sac fly that scored Harper. Miller walked, reloading the bases, and Kluber was pulled from the game in favor of Brooks Kriske. Herrera ground out, leaving the bases filled with Phillies. Phillies 2 Yankees 0.

Vince Velasquez took over the pitching for the Phillies at the fourth. Gleyber Torres struck out, Aaron Hicks flew out to right, and Bruce struck out as Phillies’ pitching confused the Yankee hitters. The New York Yankees brought Kluber back out at the bottom to build up his pitch count. This was his last game of the spring, and the Yankees would like to see him get up to 80-85 pitches. In a puzzling move, they only allowed him to face two batters, Knapp flew out, and McCutchen stuck out, then replaced him with Nick Nelson. Hoskins struck swinging for the final out.

Frazier led off the fifth; he singled with a line drive to center. Sanchez struck out swinging, Frazier stole second and took third on a Philly throwing error. LaMarre had a sac fly scoring Frazier and getting the Yankees on the board. Austin Wells singled, LeMahieu flew out to end the inning, but the Yankees picked up a run Phillies 2 Yankees 1. Bryce Harper against Nelson ground out to short. Bohm doubled. Gregorius ground out to second. Maton running for Harper moved to third. Segura ground out to strand Maton at third. Phillies 2 Yankees 1.

With David Hale on the mound, Gleyber Torres struck out swinging. Hicks ground out to second. Bruce walked, and Frazier ground out to end the half. Aroldis Chapman took the bottom of the sixth inning. Miller struck out swinging on a 96 mph Chapman fastball. Herrera flew out to left. Knap ground out to short to end the inning. It was a nice bounce-back for Chapman after giving up 3 runs to the Orioles. Phillies 2 Yankees 1.

Archie Bradley started the seventh against Gary Sanchez, who stuck out and was 0-3 for the day. LaMarre singled, and Josh Breaux struck out, and LaMarre was caught stealing to end the half. Luis Cessa was out for the bottom; he stuck out Quinn. Duran singled. Vierling ground into a forceout. Maton doubled Vierling scored. Luis Garcia doubled driving in Maton. Stot singled driving in Garcia. Miller struck out, but the Phillies picked up 3 runs. Phillies 5 Yankees 1.

The top of the eighth saw Tyler Wade leading off for the Yankees; he doubled. Wade went to third on a passed ball. Hoy Jun Park struck out. Armando Alvarez struck out, and Milone struck out, wasting Wade’s double. At the bottom prospect, Luis Medina took over the pitching for the Yankees. Medina ground out Marchan. Rojas ground out, and Quinn walked and stole second. Duran singled driving in Quinn but was called out at second. Phillies 6 Yankees 1.

With last licks on the line for the New York Yankees, Thairo Estrada led off homering to far left-center. Estevan Florial flew out. Max McDowell was called out on strikes and LaMarre struck out ending the game. The final score was Phillies 6 and the Yankees 2. The winning pitcher was Zack Wheeler and the loser Corey Kluber.

Yankees non-tender Jonathan Holder; avoid arbitration with Luis Cessa and Ben Heller

New York Yankees, Jonathan Holder

The New York Yankees reportedly decided to tender a contract to catcher Gary Sanchez prior to tonight’s 8 pm deadline. However, they opted not to retain longtime reliever Jonathan Holder, making him free to sign with any team.

The news was reported by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Holder had been with the New York Yankees since he made his big league debut back in 2016. In his career, he has a 4.38 ERA and a 3.85 FIP in 176.2 innings. He has a 8.41 K/9 mark and has handed 2.70 BB/9 so far in his big league tenure.

Holder could make for a nice reclamation project for some other team, as his right arm isn’t short on talent. In 2017 and 2018, he had two straight seasons with an ERA and FIP lower than four.

However, after an inconsistent 2019 that saw him finish with a 6.31 ERA, and a bad 2020 (that actually started off well) in which he had a 4.98 ERA, the Yankees decided to move on from the big righty.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yankees were planning to tender a contract to Gary Sanchez ahead of the deadline. He is expected to make a little over $5 million in arbitration next season.

Other Yankees’ transactions

In another transaction, the Yankees avoided arbitration with fellow right-handed reliever Luis Cessa after agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1 million.

For Cessa, it was his first year of arbitration eligibility. He has been a full-time reliever for the Yankees in the last few seasons and has gotten better results thanks to an increased usage of his slider.

The Bombers also agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed reliever Ben Heller.

Several useful major leaguers are entering the market as teams are announcing their lists of non-tendered players. The Yankees could turn their attention to some of them, most notably relievers Archie Bradley and Ryne Stanek, or designated hitter/outfielder Kyle Schwarber, among other potentially useful players in various positions.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Four Yankee players could be gone by 8 pm

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, they have until 8 pm tonight to tender contracts to players of they become free agents and tentatively out of pinstripes forever. Don’t worry, Clint Frazier, Chad Green, Aaron Judge, Jordan Montgomery, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, and Luke Voit aren’t going anywhere. These eight players are too important to the Yankees, and their arbitration salaries are all bargains by major league standards.

However, four Yankees could be gone by tonight. They are Gary Sanchez, Luis Cessa, Ben Heller, and Jonathan Holder. Cessa and Holder will most likely be tendered a contract.

Luis Cessa is often an unrated arm in the bullpen, but nevertheless, Cessa in the last five years with the Yankees has been a workhorse, starting, providing mid relief, and even saving games. The usually reliable Cessa had his best year in 2019, pitching in 47 games and closing out 14 of them with one save. Although his 2020 performance was not up to those figures, he was called to the mound 16 times, closing out 6 of them with one save, while registering his best ERA of 3.32. Cessa will be a keeper.

Jonathan Holder, like Cessa, has also been kicking around for five years and has been mostly solid for the Yankees. Holder was important to the Yankees this past season going 3-0 in 18 games in a 60 game season. Holder is durable and will most likely be tendered.

Ben Heller is another story. Heller is injury prone and hasn’t been much help to the New York Yankees. In his seven years with the Yankees, four in the majors, even though he has one of the lowest career ERA on has 2 wins to he credit. A low ERA doesn’t help much if you can’t stay on the mound. He will likely be non-tendered and be out of pinstripes.

Gary Sanchez is still another story. Whether you believe the possible trade hype from Cashman and Boone recently, or you believed the Yankees’ actions late last season and in the postseason, will determine if Sanchez remains a Yankee. Both manager Boone and Brian Cashman have recently praised Sanchez for his talent and potential to be on the edge of a star player. The question is whether they truly have faith in him or if they were trying to raise his trade value.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Last season was Sanchez’s worst season with the Yankees. He hit only .147 and had another season of failing to block the ball. He was so bad that Boone that does not believe in personal catchers allowed Kyle Higasioka to become ace Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher. Near the end of the season took a greater role in catching starts as Sanchez was sat down, even in the postseason. However, I believe that he will be in pinstripes next year, even if it’s only because he is an economical option in a season that the Yankees will be penny-pinching.

 

New York Yankees activate Luis Cessa ahead of Wednesday’s doubleheader

New York Yankees, Luis Cessa

The New York Yankees are losing one of their top relievers in recent times, as right-hander Tommy Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. He will be sidelined until at least late 2021, and chances are that we won’t see him until early 2022. It is truly a bummer, since the man of the wicked changeup had won the hearts of Yankee fans around the country with his performances.

But at the same time, the New York Yankees are also gaining another arm to help them navigate through this weird, shortened season. Luis Cessa, who hadn’t pitched this year after a positive COVID-19 test a few weeks ago, is now ready to go and was activated from the injured list on Wednesday.

The Yankees’ underrated relief arm

The Yankees bullpen corps can surely use an arm like Cessa. While he is not in the same level as Kahnle, he showed last season that he can be very successful if he prioritizes the use of his slider over his other offerings. That strategy paid off as he had his best season in 2019, with a 4.11 ERA in 81.0 frames.

It is unclear in which role Cessa will rejoin the Yankees. Over the years, he has been a spot starter, a long man, a traditional, one-inning reliever, and has even been part of the “Scranton Shuttle.”

Chances are that Cessa will operate as a long reliever in case he is needed, which will actually free up Chad Green to function as the game flow dictates. The Mexican hurler was at his best last season while working multiple innings per game (he completed his 81.0 innings in 43 games.)

Cessa will be available for the Yankees today, as they face a tough doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. The team has the best record in the major leagues and despite losing one of its top relievers will try to keep it that way. Cessa can certainly help.