After yesterday's big move to acquire Starlin Castro from the Cubs in exchange for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan, Brian Cashman proved that he wasn't finished at the Winter Meetings. There has not been anything confirmed from the Yankees' side, but Tigers reporters have tweeted about a second trade to tweak the Wild Card-winning club from 2015. It looks like lefty Justin Wilson will be on his way to Motown in exchange for pitching prospects Luis Cessa and Chad Green:
Sources say the #Tigers will acquire left-handed reliever Justin Wilson for a pair of prospects.— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) December 9, 2015
According to #Yankees sources, RH Luis Cessa and RH Chad Green could be coming to NY for Wilson.— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) December 9, 2015
Yankees reporters have contacted Cashman, and he has given vague responses, noting that he "has nothing to talk about," and that he has "a lot of things" in the air (tonight). As Bryan Hoch alluded in that tweet, it sounds like more is in the works. (UPDATE: The Yankees confirmed it.)
For now, it seems that the Yankees will bid Wilson farewell after one good year in the bullpen. After coming to New York in last year's trade with the Pirates for Francisco Cervelli, Wilson posted a 3.10 ERA with a 2.69 FIP in 74 games and 61 innings. He struck out a steady 9.7 batters per nine innings while walking just 20 batters all year. At first glance the return of Cessa and Green for Wilson is not exactly impressive. Both were ranked among the Tigers' Top 20 Prospects by MLB Pipeline with Cessa (one of the players acquiring in the Yoenis Cespedes trade with the Mets) ranking sixth in the system, but the Tigers' minor leagues are not exactly bursting with talent. Cessa will take a 40-man roster spot. Although Cessa and Green are in the high minors, neither posted particularly inspiring numbers in 2015. They could stand to improve the team's starting depth (or the bullpen) around the Triple-A level though.
However, if there is one thing that Cashman, Joe Girardi, and Larry Rothschild know how to do, it's build a bullpen. They have relief arms in the high minors who could take major steps in 2016, like Jacob Lindgren, James Pazos, Nick Rumbelow, and more. Since Girardi took over in 2008, they have had reliable bullpens every single year, even when the initially questionable likes of Clay Rapada, Cory Wade, and Edwar Ramirez took key roles at various points. It is still very early in the off-season, and as David Carpenter demonstrated last year, good relievers can become bad ones in a hurry, so Wilson is no guarantee. Also, it looks like this story is just getting started.
A third team was believed involved in Tigers-NYY Wilson discussions, according to an MLB exec, so perhaps there's another element to this.— Pete Caldera (@pcaldera) December 9, 2015
Stay tuned, folks.