Brett Cecil named Blue Jays’ closer

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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.

Report: MLB owners want a 48-game season

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We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.

That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.

Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.

Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.

We’ll see soon which it is.