As first reported by Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, the St. Louis Cardinals signed former Toronto Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil to a four year contract, pending a physical. The exact price tag has yet to be reported, but the total may exceed $30 million over the course of the contract.
Following 2016 trade deadline acquisition Zach Duke’s Tommy John surgery, the Cardinals had a need for another left-handed reliever to go with Kevin Siegrist, and Cecil seemingly will fill that role. While Cecil had a relatively lackluster 2016 by ERA, with a 3.93 ERA, he also had a suspiciously high home run to fly ball ratio of 20%. His xFIP, which assumes a league average home run to fly ball rate and weighs a pitcher’s strikeout and walk totals, was a much more impressive 2.87.
In the three previous seasons, Cecil, a 30 year old former starter, had a sub-3 ERA, FIP, and xFIP. Despite never being a featured closer, he has been a very good and very reliable reliever for a contender over the last few seasons, and the Cardinals paid for him to be such going forward.