Here comes Santa Kruk, here comes Santa Kruk

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Because Steve Phillips’ mock press
conferences weren’t cringe-inducing enough, ESPN will feature a series
of “Santa Kruk” segments during SportsCenter next week, in which he
will present gifts to some major league teams (watch them all here, if you dare). Among them, a “goat
catcher” for the Cubs, a rocket scientist for the Astros and tickets to
a Sister Sledge concert for the Pirates. It has all the trappings of public access television, but with the reach of tens of millions of homes.




(Hat-tip to Maury Brown)

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.