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

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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.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.