Cessa agrees to $1 million, 1-year deal with Yankees

·1-min read
New York Yankees relief pitcher Luis Cessa throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning in Game 3 of a baseball American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

NEW YORK (AP) — Right-hander Luis Cessa and the New York Yankees avoided salary arbitration when they agreed to a $1.05 million, one-year contract Wednesday before the deadline to offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players on 40-man rosters.

New York also agreed to a one-year deal with right-hander Ben Heller, who gets $625,000 in the majors and $225,000 in the minors.

The Yankees allowed right-hander Jonathan Holder to become a free agent, declining to offer a 2021 contract.

Cessa missed the start of the season after testing positive for COVID-19 and made his debut on Aug. 5. The 28-year-old right-hander had a 3.32 ERA with no decisions in 16 relief appearances and 21 2/3 innings, striking out 17, walking seven and allowing 20 hits. Cessa made $331,481 in prorated pay from an $895,000 salary.

Cessa is 7-12 with a 4.40 ERA in 19 starts and 83 relief appearances over five seasons with the Yankees. He is eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.

Heller. 29, had a 3.00 ERA in six relief appearances, striking out six and walking two in six innings. He was ejected on Sept. 2 after hitting Tampa Bay's Hunter Renfroe on his leg with a 95 fastball, a day after New York closer Aroldis Chapman threw a 101 mph fastball over Mike Brosseau’s head, drawing a suspension.

Holder, 27, was 3-0 with a 4.98 ERA in 18 relief appearances, striking out 11 and walking 11 in 21 2/3 innings. He spent parts of the last five seasons with the Yankees.

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