Luis Cessa, then of the Cincinnati Reds, pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres May 3, 2023 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Mexican relief pitcher Luis Cessa signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, the organization announced on their social media pages.
The Royals also picked up active free agents left-handed pitcher Austin Cox, catcher Logan Porter, and outfielder Diego Hernandez on Saturday.
Cessa, 31, was born in Cordoba, Mexico, and is entering his ninth major league season in 2024.
Cessa played five seasons with the New York Yankees from 2016-21 then was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on July 21, 2021 with left-handed pitcher Justin Wilson and a player to be named later.
In three seasons with the Reds, Cessa had a 7-9 record and 4.94 ERA with 77 appearances and 16 starts. Cessa has thrown 133 innings allowing 146 hits, 73 earned runs, 20 home runs, 42 walks, and 93 strikeouts before he was released on May 14.
Prior to the start of the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season, Cessa suited up for Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and helped the nation accomplish third place reaching the semifinals in Miami at loanDepot and losing to Japan 6-5.
Cessa pitched out of the bullpen in the first game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic against in Pool C at Chase Field in Phoenix, throwing two innings and allowing two hits, one earned run, and one strikeout in his lone appearance during the tournament.
In the beginning of the 2023 season with the Reds, Cessa went 1-4 and posted a 9.00 ERA in seven appearances and six starts, throwing 26 innings and allowing 46 hits, 26 earned runs, three home runs, 12 walks, and 11 strikeouts with a 1.875 WHIP.
Cessa signed a minor league contract from the Colorado Rockies on May 23 and was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque, where he went 0-2 in six starts with an 8.44 ERA in 21.1 innings, giving up 30 hits, 20 earned runs, five home runs, 10 walks, and striking out 19 batters. He was released by the Rockies on June 29.
A few days later, Cessa signed a minor league contract with Washington on July 6 and was assigned to Triple-A Rochester. Cessa threw 20.2 innings, posting a 1-3 record and 8.71 ERA in 16 appearances with three saves and one start. He allowed 24 hits, 20 earned runs, four home runs, 10 walks, and 23 strikeouts with a 1.645 WHIP until he was released on August 29.
Entering his ninth season in MLB, Cessa has posted a 17-22 with a 4.43 ERA in 208 appearances with 35 starts and four saves. Cessa has thrown 425 innings, allowing 423 hits, 209 earned runs, 66 home runs, 141 walks, and 331 strikeouts with a 1.327 WHIP.
The Royals have yet to announce if Cessa will be added to the 40-man roster or if he will be invited to Major League Baseball Spring Training in 2024.