The Cards reportedly have signed Brett Cecil, a former Blue Jays reliever.
Cecil, a lefty, was a valuable man out of Toronto’s bullpen from 2013-2015, before struggling last year, and even that (he started slow before finishing better) makes him look like a solid buy low candidate.
7 million plus per year isn’t that “low” for a buy low candidate. Yes, I know there’s a bullpen revolution going on, so the Cards are jumping on the bandwagon. Bandwagon jumping can be dangerous as it has burned many teams.
And yes, I realize 7 million isn’t what it used to be. In 2016-2017 terms, it doesn’t buy you as much as it used to. Still, it’s not the 7 million that really bothers me.
What bothers me is the combination of two things: 4 guaranteed years and a no trade clause.
Now, I haven’t seen the actual contract yet, but if the 4 guaranteed years are correct, that he has no vesting options or team options to protect the team, then that’s a lot of guaranteed years for a guy coming off of a bad year, even with the 2nd half rebound.
What really bothers me, though, is the no trade clause. What if the Cards are struggling one year (hey, it can happen. We just missed the playoffs, even if we were in the hunt until the very end.) and Cecil is having a good year. a lefty doing well could net some nice pieces via trade. The Cards won’t be able to explore that option though because of the no-trade clause. The afore-mentioned guaranteed years don’t help as far as trades go.
Last year, when John Mozeliak signed Mike Leake after missing out on bigger names and gave him 5 years at 80 million with 4 of those years guaranteed (the 5th is a mutual option), I wasn’t a fan. Last year he went 9-12 with a 4.69 ERA while making 15 million. I realize, like 7 million, 15 million doesn’t go as far as it used to, but does that sound like a 15 million dollar player to you?
Now don’t get me wrong I hope Cecil (and Leake for that matter) have good years every year from here on out, but if they don’t, the guaranteed years (and no trade clause in Cecil’s case) could cost us some valuable flexibility down the road.
As always, thanks for reading.