The Los Angeles Angels have a closer. The team agreed to a one-year deal with former Cleveland Indians reliever Cody Allen on Thursday, according to Jeff Passan and Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. The deal is pending a physical.
The 30-year-old Allen is coming off a disappointing season. He posted a 4.70 ERA over 67 innings in 2018. Allen’s strikeout rate dropped nearly 5 percent, while his walk rate surged.
Between 2013-17, Allen was one of the league’s most dominant relievers. Over those five seasons, Allen posted a 2.59 ERA with 457 strikeouts over 344 2/3 innings. He put up a 163 ERA+ over that period, meaning his ERA was 63 percent better than the league average.
The Angels will now be tasked with getting Allen back to form. When healthy, Allen is capable of putting up eye-popping strikeout totals thanks to a biting curveball. That pitch can be a double-edged sword as Allen does tend to hand out a fair share of walks. If he can get his command under control in 2019, the Angels will have one of the league’s best weapons anchoring their bullpen.
If Allen is right, he fills a big need in Los Angeles. The Angels’ bullpen ranked 18th with a 4.15 ERA in 2018. Blake Parker, who led the Angels with 14 saves last season, was non-tendered by the club in November, leaving the Angels with a significant hole in the ninth inning.
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