The Dodgers release Eric Gagne

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Last week the Dodgers sent Eric Gagne to the minors.  Last night they said, eh, forget it, and just released him. He allowed six runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings. Late innings in spring training games, so it’s not like he’d be facing a less-talented brand of competition in the minors.

I would assume that Gagne’s career is over.  The Rockies had offered him deal similar to that which the Dodgers offered, but I’m fairly certain the demote-then-release dynamic would have played out the same way there too.  He’s on record this spring saying that the independent leagues were no fun — and he wasn’t that good in the Can-Am league to begin with, going 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings as a
starter — so I doubt he’s heading back there. Dude just can’t pitch anymore.

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.