Luis Cessa's salary will not dictate his role with the Reds in 2023

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Cessa.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Cessa. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Cessa and the Cincinnati Reds avoided arbitration this past week by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.65M.

Cessa's role in 2023 has yet to be defined. One would assume that the right-hander would be given a chance to rejoin the starting rotation, however, he may provide more value to the Reds coming out of the bullpen next season.

Regardless of his role on next year's team, Cessa's salary fits nicely into the Reds payroll for 2023 and should not dictate how he's used next season.

Luis Cessa's salary will not dictate his role with the Reds in 2023.

Luis Cessa landed in Cincinnati back in 2021 after being dealt alongside left-handed reliever Justin Wilson at the trade deadline. Cessa had spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, going 10-13 with a 4.13 ERA.

During his time in the Big Apple, the Yankees attempted to utilize Cessa as a starter. But after 2018, Cessa was use exclusively out of the bullpen and maintained a similar role with the Cincinnati Reds until last season.

After several Reds starters went down with injury, Cincinnati skipper David Bell turned to Cessa to supplement the starting rotation. Down the stretch, Cessa started nine games and posted an impressive 3.77 ERA.

Cessa's strikeouts (31) were down and his FIP (5.07) suggests that he was a bit more lucky than good, but the 30-year-old took the ball every fifth day and went five or more innings in six of his nine starts.

The Cincinnati Reds signed Luke Weaver just this past week and also have Justin Dunn and Connor Overton who'll be vying for a spot in the starting rotation. That's not even taking into consideration Levi Stoudt and Brandon Williamson, both of whom are highly-regarded prospects in the Reds farm system.

The smart money is on Luis Cessa battling for a spot in the starting rotation this spring, but ultimately winding up in the bullpen as a pitcher who could give Cincinnati multiple innings of relief. Cessa's $2.65M salary is very affordable, regardless of the role he takes on next season.

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