The Cardinals bolstered the left side of their bullpen by signing Lefty Brett Cecil to a 4 year/$30.5 M contract, a figure that some analysts find just a bit startling. Cecil has been a solid, if unspectacular reliever over the course of his career, but he's not a closer and was used more as a lefty specialist last season by the Toronto Blue Jays. He is coming off a season in which he missed the better part of 2 months with a torn oblique muscle. His final line from 2016: 1-7, 3.93, 36.2 IP, 1.96 BB/9, 11.05 K/9. The 20% HR/FB should improve in St Louis, but that is still a lot of dingers to give up. It also took him 54 appearances to accumulate the 36.2 IP, so he averaged right at 2 outs per appearance.
I don't know if there is any such thing as an overpay in MLB anymore, but if there is, this contract would fit the description. More importantly, it likely sets an absolute floor for any reliever with closing on his resume. I mean, there might even be hope for Santiago Casilla to get more than the $6.5 M he got from the Giants last year! Just think of what the elite guys, including Mark Melancon, are going to get! The Giants might want to start exploring the trade market for the closer they need for next year.