Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Cecil Extension – Intangibles and Indirects
Jim Scott –
As I noted in the financial section, it is likely that the only way to get Brett to re-sign is to overpay. That is obviously troubling in its own right, but it also has implications elsewhere in the organization.
Mark Shapiro has supposedly been hired to bring small-market-team efficiency to the Jays. The extensions he signed in Cleveland for Carlos Carrasco, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia, Grady Sizemore, and Victor Martinez were all signed early in the players’ careers and at team-friendly terms. A generous extension for Brett this early in Shapiro’s tenure would not only be inconsistent with his mandate but would send a very different message to other players, both existing team members and free agents. How would a generous Cecil contract affect negotiations with Bautista and Encarnacion – not to mention more junior players?
This signing could also send a negative message to potential trade partners. The Jays are rumoured to be currently looking to acquire bullpen help through trade. What happens to the price of a Carson Smith, or a Zach McAllister – not to mention an Aroldis Chapman – once teams see the price that the Jays are willing to pay for bullpen arms?
In brief, I think that signing an expensive extension for a relief pitcher at this time sends too many of the wrong kinds of messages.
Mat Germain –
The Toronto Blue Jays are at a point where they need to decide who their leaders are and who will take them forward as they have so many players headed towards FA. Sure, we get to look forward to years of Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez, but the Jays do need a veteran presence who can help guide the pen and keep it focused when needed. When I think of the Jays pen and who the leadership is there, I think of Brett Cecil. And the thought of replacing him with another veteran presence that may not perform as well just to save a few bucks doesn’t make any sense to me.
Cecil has always been a Jay, and if the brass is smart they’ll keep it that way. He loves playing in Toronto, he’s performed extremely well vs. the A.L. East which isn’t easy to do, and as a LHP he provides them with dominance that’s hard to get and keep around.
The Jays know Cecil as well as they possibly could. His personality, his medical status, and what he can provide the team. They know he tore his calf muscle, the injury which kept him out of much of the playoffs, and that he had shoulder fatigue earlier in the season. They also know how well he rehabilitated from those issues and how great he was after the shoulder issue. With his reliance on a curve ball via the fastball, you can envision Cecil having a long and relatively injury-free career.
Cecil’s part of the Jays family and taking on another unknown at this point doesn’t seem to make sense. There’s going to be risk involved in any replacement the Jays find. The Jays may be better off going with the risk they know more thoroughly than the risk they don’t know well at all. He’s beloved by his teammates, he gets along well with everyone, and he’s worked extremely hard for the Jays since the day he was drafted.
Next: The Brett Cecil Extension: Closing Arguments