Cardinals finish Holland deal, put reliever Cecil on DL
Mar. 31, 2018
NEW YORK (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals completed their deal with free-agent closer Greg Holland on Saturday and put left-handed reliever Brett Cecil on the 10-day disabled list with a strained pitching shoulder.
The Cardinals made the moves Saturday before playing the Mets in the second game of the season. They called up left-hander Ryan Sherriff from Triple-A Memphis and transferred righty Alex Reyes from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL.
The club also announced a swap of minor league pitchers, acquiring right-hander Casey Meisner from Oakland for reliever Josh Lucas. A two-time minor league All-Star, the 6-foot-7 Meisner is 30-34 with a 3.66 ERA over 85 minor league starts and 104 total appearances.
Holland will report to Class A Palm Beach to prepare for his St. Louis debut. The 32-year-old righty signed a one-year deal for $14 million.
"It's amazing what it does for our bullpen now," manager Mike Matheny said. "We've seen plenty of him to know this guy is a legit, end-of-the-game pitcher."
Holland consented to up to 14 days in the minors. The three-time All-Star had 41 saves for Colorado last season, going 3-6 with a 3.61 ERA.
"We talked for months about being happy with our bullpen and willing to go with what we had," general manager John Mozeliak said. "It got to a point where it was a deal that was good enough for us to make it worthwhile to add that closer with not just closing experience, but big-game playoff closing experience."
The Cardinals had planned to use Luke Gregerson as their closer before he injured his hamstring during a conditioning drill in spring training, putting him on the DL.
Cecil threw 10 pitches in Thursday's 9-4 loss to the Mets in the opener. The 31-year-old got one out and gave up one hit.
"Hopefully it's something we can be proactive about, get ahead of it and put behind us," Matheny said.
Mozeliak said Cecil reported his shoulder didn't feel right when he left the mound, adding the team doesn't think the injury is serious.
Sherriff pitched 13 times in relief for St. Louis last year, going 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA. Reyes missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
"Not in any way related to any setback," said Mozeliak about Reyes' move. "Given the additions to the roster, we've always talked about trying to be conservative with Alex."