Sources tell me the #BlueJays have offered a 3-year contract to free agent pitcher Brett Cecil.— Jamie Campbell (@SNETCampbell) November 14, 2016
I’d like to see Cecil return to the only MLB team he has known. On the surface, Cecil’s ERA and FIP looked less than impressive in 2016 (3.93 and 3.64, respectively) but it is reasonable to expect that his HR/9 of 1.47 last year was an anomaly (it was 0.66 in 2015, 0.34 in 2014 and 0.59 in 2013). Given that his strikeout (28.7 K%) and walk (5.1 BB%) numbers remained strong in 2016, Cecil appears to be a very strong bounce back candidate. MLB Trade Rumors ranked Cecil 26th in it’s list of the top-50 free agents and predicted a 3-year, $18M contract. For what it is worth, MLBTR predicted he’d land that contract with the Mariners.
To the surprise of no one, MLBTR also reports that Jose Bautista is expected to reject Toronto’s 1-year, $17.2M qualifying offer by today’s deadline of 5PM EST. If true, this of course means that the Blue Jays will receive a compensatory draft pick if/when Jose signs elsewhere. If not for his age (36), I don’t think it would have been a bad decision for Bautista to accept the one-year offer and try to rebuild some value after an injury-filled 2016 season. At this point though, I don’t blame him at all for trying to maximize what could be his last contract. We’ll just have to wait and see if that contract is with Toronto.