According to Ben Nicholson-Smith via Twitter, the Toronto Blue Jays, after losing Cecil, are interested in replacing him with Jerry Blevins.
The Mets have said that they would want to bring back Blevins for 2017, and the Blue Jays’ interest will only increase his price tag.
It is reasonable to assume that the Mets and Blue Jays will not be the only teams vying for his services going forward. He is expected to net himself a three-year deal at the very least.
Original Post: Nov 19
According to team sources, the St. Louis Cardinals have signed LHP Brett Cecil to a 4-year, $30.5 million deal with a full no-trade clause. pending a physical. The club has not confirmed.
Cecil, 30, has spent the last eight seasons north of the border with the Toronto Blue Jays, but will now take his talents to Missouri as the Cardinals have bolstered their bullpen.
MLB Trade Rumors predicted that Cecil would sign a 3-year, $18 million deal, but ended up with a 4-year deal with more money annually.
“After (Aroldis) Chapman, Cecil may be the top left-handed reliever on the market. The 30-year-old was limited this year by a triceps strain, after which he punched out 36 hitters and walked five in 26 1/3 frames,” MLB Trade Rumors said in the article.
“Overall, his numbers were inflated by a 20% home run per flyball rate and .344 batting average on balls in play, both of which should come down. Cecil is tough on lefties and has shown the ability to retire right-handed hitters in the past,” they added.
Originally a starting pitcher, Cecil was converted to a reliever full-time in 2013, a year in which he was an American League all-star.
That season, Cecil appeared in 60 games for the Jays, pitching to a 5-1 record with a 2.82 ERA working in a setup role.
For his career, the veteran has compiled a 41-42 record, with a 4.20 ERA and 11 saves.
Four years and $30.5 million is a hefty price tag for a pitcher like Cecil, who was 1-7 with a 3.93 ERA in 2016. But with the market for high quality, left-handed relievers being especially thin this year, inflated deals are inevitable.
With that being said, a reunion between the Mets and Jerry Blevins seems very unlikely at this point in lieu of the current signing.
Blevins, 33, was acquired by the Mets from the Washington Nationals right before the start of the 2015 season in exchange for OF Matt den Dekker.
After missing a majority of the 2015 season with a broken arm, Blevins appeared in 73 games for the Mets this past season, going 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA.
A lefty specialist, Blevins actually fared better against right-handed batters in 2016, who hit .182 against him, while lefties hit .255.
Earlier this month, Adam Rubin of ESPN reported that the Mets would like to retain Blevins, but expect to be outbid for his services as he will likely sign a multi-year deal elsewhere.
Losing Blevins will be a tough blow, but dropping a 4-year deal on a reliever doesn’t make much sense, especially when they are 33-years-old.