Yankees ink southpaw Wilson to one-year deal

Justin Wilson has been a long-time reliable reliever in MLB.|Art or Photo Credit: AP

The New York Yankees announced that they have signed LHP Justin Wilson to a one-year contract for the 2021 season with a player option for 2022. If the player option is declined, there is a club option for 2022. If the player option is exercised, there is an additional club option for 2023.                                                                             

Wilson, 33, spent the 2020 season with the Mets, going 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA (19.2 innings pitched, eight earned runs) and 23 strikeouts in 23 relief appearances. Overall, he held opponents scoreless in 18-of-23 outings, allowing more than one earned run in just two appearances.

Over 480 relief outings in nine Major League seasons with the Pirates (2012-14), Yankees (2015), Tigers (2016-17), Cubs (2017-18) and Mets (2019-20), he is 32-22 with 18 saves, a 3.27 ERA (429.1 innings pitched, 156 earned runs) and 474 strikeouts. Since 2014, Wilson ranks second among all left-handed pitchers with 414 appearances. Over the last four seasons (2017-20), he has posted an 11.35 K/9.0IP ratio (216 strikeouts, 171.1 innings pitched), the eighth-highest mark among left-handed relievers over the stretch.

The Anaheim, California, native appeared in the postseason in five of six seasons from 2013-18, combining to post a 1.69 ERA (5.1 innings pitched, one earned run) with 4 strikeouts in six postseason relief outings.

After being acquired from Pittsburgh in exchange for C Francisco Cervelli in November 2014, Wilson was 5-0 with a 3.10 ERA (61.0 innings pitched, 21 earned runs) and 66 strikeouts in a career-high 74 relief appearances for the Yankees in 2015. He was traded to Detroit in exchange for RHPs Luis Cessa and Chad Green in December 2015.

Wilson was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Fresno State.

To make room on the 40-man roster, OF Greg Allen was designated for assignment.