Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced Sunday morning in Dunedin, Florida that Brett Cecil will open the 2015 regular season as the team’s closer. This according to MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm.
Casey Janssen signed with the Nationals this offseason and Jonathan Papelbon’s interest in joining the Blue Jays always felt one-sided, so the gig falls to the left-handed Cecil. Aaron Sanchez moving into the starting rotation following the Marcus Stroman injury also helped to clear the path.
Cecil, 28, posted a 2.70 ERA and 76/27 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings last season. His primary setup man this year will be Aaron Loup.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.