The Detroit Tigers have acquired left-handed relief pitcher Justin Wilson from the New York Yankees for right-handed pitchers Luis Cessa and Chad Green, according to Jennifer Hammond of FOX Sports. The deal between Detroit and New York was confirmed by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Wilson is the third reliever that the Tigers have added to the roster this winter. Earlier this offseason, Detroit picked up closer Francisco Rodriguez and setup man Mark Lowe. Rodriguez fashioned a 2.21 ERA with 38 saves over 57.0 innings across 60 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015. Lowe was dominant with a 1.96 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 61-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 55.0 innings in 2015 with the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Talks between the Tigers and Yankees regarding Wilson were first reported by George A. King III of the New York Post and Marly Rivera of ESPN. The Tigers were linked to free agent left-handed pitchers Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo, but each was too much for Detroit to afford.
Wilson will be eligible for arbitration is offseason and is due for about $1.3 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors, which is not much of a commitment after getting $556,000 in 2015. The reliever has three years of club control remaining and will not hit free agency until after the 2019 season. Even though he had an effective season, middle relievers do not tend to ever get much arbitration money.
The 28-year-old gives the Tigers another late-inning option and has locked up the call for a lefty specialist. Wilson will join Blaine Hardy and Kyle Ryan as the only left-handed pitchers in the bullpen for Detroit.
Wilson appeared in 74 games and threw 61.0 innings for the Yankees in 2015. He gave up 49 hits, 21 runs and three home runs with a 3.10 ERA. Wilson was originally a fifth round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wilson, 28, throws in the mid-90's and works a hard sinker. He should slot into the seventh or eighth inning in the Motor City.
Cessa came to Detroit from the New York Mets in the deal that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets at the 2015 Trade Deadline. With Triple-A Toledo, Cessa posted a 1-3 record with a 5.97 ERA over seven games. The 23-year-old has five years of minor league experience, but has yet to throw in a major league game.
Along with Cessa, Green will be headed to New York. The 11th round pick by the Tigers in the 2013 MLB Draft has posted a 15-18 record with a 3.55 ERA during three minor league seasons with Rookie-Tigers, High-A Lakeland, Single-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie. Last season, Green struggled with a 5.09 ERA and a 5-14 record across 148.2 innings pitched.