Yankees send relievers Cessa, Wilson to Reds for PTBNL

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees traded relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named.

The move could signal the Yankees are pursuing a big addition to their bullpen and were looking to create room.

The deal was announced hours after New York won 4-3 at Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati finished off a 7-4 road victory over the Chicago Cubs.

The Yankees also made a bullpen move Monday, acquiring reliever Clay Holmes from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielders Hoy Park and Diego Castillo.

The 29-year-old Cessa went 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 relief appearances for the Yankees this season.

Wilson, 33, was 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 21 outings. The left-hander missed a combined 34 games during two stints on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation (March 29 to April 9) and a strained right hamstring (May 29 to June 30). He signed a one-year contract in February with a player option for 2022.

New York is nine games behind AL East-leading Boston and seven back of the second-place Rays, but much closer in the hunt for the second AL wild card.

Cincinnati is in second place in the NL Central, seven games behind Milwaukee, and also is chasing San Diego for the second NL wild card.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.