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The Cubs should sign Cody Allen

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... to a minor-league deal. It’s worth a shot.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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Well. There is no doubt that Cody Allen was bad this year for the Angels, who signed him as a free agent in January. His walk rate is up (7.8 per nine innings, compared to 3.5 per nine before 2019), and he got absolutely pounded in his final two outings for the Halos (one inning, six hits, two walks, six runs) before his release.

Allen got off to a good start this year (including a save against the Cubs at Wrigley April 13), then got yanked out of the closer role after blowing back-to-back games in which he was placed in the game when it was tied.

I’ll be honest here — this might not work. Allen’s fastball velocity is down in 2019, though his K rate is still good, 29 strikeouts in 23 innings (11.3 per nine). Just two years ago he was a lockdown closer in Cleveland (30 saves in 34 chances, 2.94 ERA, 1.158 WHIP, 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings). The velocity drop suggests a possible injury, but if that were the case, why wouldn’t the Angels have just placed him on the injured list, considering they have an $8.5 million investment in him? There must be something else going on here.

I’m certainly not suggesting putting him in the big-league bullpen, not right away, anyway. Sign him to a minor-league deal. Hey, when Craig Kimbrel is ready, there will be a roster spot open at Iowa. Put him there for a few outings and see how it goes. Maybe he’s done and then he could simply be released. But if he shows anything like his previous form, perhaps he could join the bullpen after the All-Star break and provide another good setup option for Kimbrel.

Allen is just 30 and might have half a season left in the tank. Someone is going to sign him to a minor-league deal and maybe get a good half-season and only have to pay him the major-league minimum, as the Angels are on the hook for the rest of his contract since they released him. Why not the Cubs?

Poll

Cody Allen...

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Sure, sign him to a minor-league deal. What do the Cubs have to lose?
    (513 votes)
  • 20%
    Forget it, you’re crazy. He’s done.
    (134 votes)
647 votes total Vote Now