SPORTS

Blue Jays avoid arbitration with veteran relief pitcher Brett Cecil

01/15/2015 04:50 EST | Updated 03/17/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Brett Cecil, signing the left-handed relief pitcher Thursday to a US$2.475-million, one-year contract.

Cecil was 2-3 last season with five saves and a 2.70 earned-run average in 66 appearances.

The 28-year-old has spent his entire major-league career with the Blue Jays after joining the team in 2009.

He was an all-star in 2013 when he went 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 60 relief appearances.

Earlier Thursday, the Blue Jays signed outfielder Andy Dirks to a minor-league contract with an invite to major-league spring training.

Dirks, 28, was originally claimed from Detroit on Oct. 31 and became a free agent when he non-tendered on Dec. 2.

He spent parts of three seasons with the Tigers after making his major-league debut in 2011. Dirks was hampered by back and hamstring injuries last year.

In 297 career major-league games, Dirks has a .276 average with 24 homers and 100 RBIs.

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