St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals to sign lefty reliever Brett Cecil to four-year, $30.5-million deal

Filling a void created by a season-ending injury to Zach Duke, the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday reportedly came to terms with left-handed reliever Brett Cecil on a four-year, $30.5-million free-agent deal.

The contract includes full no-trade protection.

The Cardinals have not made the signing official, pending a physical. That is expected to be completed early in the week. Cecil was an American League All-Star in 2013.

Cecil, 30, will take the place of Duke, who underwent Tommy John surgery. Cecil was 1-7 with a 3.93 ERA in 54 games with the Toronto Blue Jays last season.

The Cardinals also will be without left-hander Tyler Lyons until May or June. Lyons underwent knee surgery in November.

Kevin Siegrist is the only other healthy left-hander in the bullpen.

Cecil held left-handed batters to a .258 average last season. He walked eight and struck out 45 in 36 2/3 innings, allowing six home runs.

In 2015, left-handers batted just .195 against Cecil, who also limited right-handed batters to a .198 mark. He struck out 70 in 54 1/3 innings and recorded five saves.

Cecil is 41-42 with a 4.20 ERA in his career and has held left-handers to a .226/.281/.344 slash line.

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