Jays sign Cecil, avoid arbitration with reliever

Brett Cecil (Frank Gunn/CP)

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.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.