One of the last pieces to new GM Al Avila’s off-season puzzle was a lefty reliever, and he found that piece last night in Justin Wilson. Avila traded two minor leaguers, one a prospect in Luis Cessa (the other, Chad Green) for Wilson.
Wilson spent last season with the New York Yankees setting up in the 8th inning and will give Detroit a nice match-up option when paired with righty Mark Lowe in late inning situations before giving way to closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Wilson appeared in 74 games in 2015, throwing 61 innings, where his ERA was 3.10, with a 1.131 WHIP, and avreaging 9.7 K’s per 9. Oddly enough, lefties actually hit better off of Wilson in 2015 with a .235 batting average vs. right-handers who hit .216. It should be noted however, that the 3 home runs that he gave up were against right handed hitters.
Wilson will be heading in to his age 28 season, is under team control for another three years with arbitration and cost New York just $556k last season.
Justin Wilson signed with the Pirates after being drafted in the 5th round in 2008 and was traded to New York (A) last off-season for catcher Francisco Cervelli.
Luis Cessa was acquired by Detroit in the Yoenis Cespedes trade and has popped up on the early Detroit Tigers top 10 prospect lists for 2016. Cessa will be 24 and made it as high as Triple-A Toledo (and Las Vegas/NYM) last season after starting out in Double-A Binghamton in the Mets system. For 2015, Cessa was 8-10 with a 4.97 ERA and 1.428 WHIP with 7.7 K’s per 9. His 6:1 K to BB rate is what caught Tigers eyes I’m guessing.
This looks to be another very solid trade for Al Avila has he addresses the teams bullpen, giving up very little in return. The bonus will be the teams 3 years of arbitration control on Wilson.