The Nationals have signed Luis Cessa to a minor league contract and sent him to Triple-A Rochester, tweets Talk Nats. The right-hander had been released from a non-roster deal with the Rockies last week.
Cessa joins his third organization of the season. He opened the season in the Reds’ rotation, his third year in Cincinnati. The 31-year-old had a terrible first few outings, allowing an even 9.00 ERA across 26 innings. He walked 12 and struck out just 11 of 132 batters faced. Cincinnati pulled the plug in early May, turning the rotation spot over to journeyman Ben Lively.
After signing with Colorado, the Mexico-born hurler made six starts for their Triple-A team in Albuquerque. He was tagged for an 8.44 ERA in that extremely hitter-friendly environment. The Rox have been hit with a number of rotation injuries, but Cessa didn’t show enough in his six weeks in the Colorado organization to get a big league look.
While it’s hard to find many positives in Cessa’s 2023 work, he’s been a productive MLB pitcher in prior years. He was a good long reliever for a few seasons, highlighted by a 2.51 ERA showing in 64 2/3 frames between the Yankees and Reds in 2021. He owns a 3.81 ERA in 264 2/3 career innings out of the bullpen. His more recent work since moving to the rotation late last summer hasn’t been good, but he’s at least expanded his versatility as a multi-inning arm for a pitching staff.
Washington can keep him as rotation depth in Triple-A or push him back into the relief role where he’s had more success. If Cessa cracks the MLB roster at any point, Washington would only pay him at the prorated $720K league minimum rate. The Reds remain on the hook for the balance of his $2.65MM salary. Cessa will return to free agency at season’s end.