Aaron Gleeman

Brett Cecil;

Blue Jays sign Brett Cecil to one-year deal, avoid arbitration


Toronto has avoided arbitration with Brett Cecil, signing the left-hander to a one-year, $2.475 million deal.

After struggling as a starter Cecil shifted to the bullpen full time in 2013 and made the All-Star team. He posted nearly identical numbers in 2014–without the All-Star appearance–and the 28-year-old has a 3.01 ERA with 155 strikeouts in 126 innings out of the bullpen for his career.

Rangers, Neftali Feliz avoid arbitration for $4.125 million

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Right-hander Neftali Feliz and the Rangers have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract worth $4.125 million.

Feliz posted a great-looking 1.99 ERA in 30 appearances returning from Tommy John elbow surgery, but his 21/11 K/BB ratio in 32 innings was far less impressive and he struggled to find the same type of velocity he regularly showed before going under the knife.

He enters his age-27 season with a 2.53 ERA in 242 career innings dating back to his impressive 2009 debut as a 21-year-old.

Cardinals sign Tony Cruz to one-year deal, avoid arbitration

Tony Cruz Getty

Tony Cruz will remain in his role as the Cardinals’ backup catcher next season, avoiding arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract.

Cruz has been Yadier Molina’s primary understudy since 2012, hitting just .225 with three homers and a .580 OPS in 482 plate appearances during that time.

Obviously the Cardinals value his defense a lot and, if healthy, they want Molina playing almost every game anyway.

Blue Jays sign Andy Dirks

Andy Dirks

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Blue Jays have agreed to a minor-league contract with veteran outfielder Andy Dirks, whom they claimed off waivers from the Tigers on October 31 only to non-tender him last month.

By non-tendering Dirks and then re-signing him to a minor-league deal the Blue Jays avoid paying him any guaranteed money. Instead he gets an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for a part-time role.

Dirks had a rough 2013 for Detroit and then missed all of 2014 following back surgery, but he’s a 27-year-old career .276 hitter with a .745 OPS in 297 games as a big leaguer.

Indians sign Anthony Swarzak

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Non-tendered by the Twins last month, right-hander Anthony Swarzak has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians that includes an invitation to spring training.

Swarzak’s durability was an asset to the Twins in a long relief and occasional spot starter role, but they were deathly afraid of using him in anything resembling a close game and his miniscule strikeout rate limits his upside beyond low-leverage work.

Swarzak has a 4.48 ERA and .280 opponents’ batting average in 440 career innings as a big leaguer through age 28.