As the Cardinals look for a center fielder and to upgrade the infield today they quietly signed Brett Cecil $30.5MM over the four seasons and includes full no-trade protection, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter links). The contract will be official when Cecil, an ACES client, passes a physical.
The Cardinals have landed one of the top setup men on the market this winter. In four years as a full-time reliever, Cecil posted a 2.90 ERA, 11.5 K/9 and 3.68 K/BB rate with the Blue Jays, with grounder rates of over 50% in three of those four years. Over his career, Cecil has dominated left-handed hitters, limiting them to just a .226/.281/.344 slash line.
Cecil was the 38th overall selection by Toronto in the 2007 MLB Draft. – He was born on July 2nd, 1986 in Maryland. – In his final season at Maryland, Cecil had a 3.32 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 62.1 innings, while walking 19 as a closer. – Cecil has been strictly a starter since joining the Blue Jays system and has struck out 185 over 168.1 innings over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. His combination of a high strikeout rate, low walk rate and extremely impressive groundball rate makes for somewhat of a statistical anomaly. His ERA predictably increased in each of his three levels of ball in 2008, with a 1.74 mark in high Single-A, 2.55 in 77.2 innings in Double-A and 4.11 in 30.2 innings of Triple-A. – The Jays have slowly readjusted Cecil to extending his innings since he closed in college. – Cecil has an excellent slider that hits the mid to high 90’s with great movement. It somewhat acts like a cutter. He can run his fastball to the mid 90’s, but it more frequently is in the low 90’s. Cecil also has a curve and change offering, but like many prospects, he hasn’t found consistency and confidence in those pitches.
Source: MLB\Baseball Prospectus