Diamondbacks set to sign Kelly Johnson

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Kelly Johnson took a week to ponder the Diamondbacks’ one-year offer believed to be worth around $2 million and has apparently decided to accept.
Johnson is expected to finalize the contract by taking a physical exam today, choosing Arizona over at least a handful of other teams in part because the Diamondbacks wanted him to play second base every day.
After two years as the Braves’ starting second baseman Johnson lost his job last season because of an injury and career-worst performance at the plate. He was non-tendered earlier this month and at least one team pursued Johnson as a free agent with an eye toward making him a full-time outfielder, but the Diamondbacks will keep him in the infield and hope for a big bounceback from the 28-year-old who hit .282/.362/.451 in 1,222 plate appearances between 2007 and 2008.

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.