The Royals may have already locked up their first-round pick

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Thumbnail image for royals1.jpgAccording to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals “are thought to be close” to a deal with University of Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal to be the fourth pick of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.

Other outlets, including Frankie Pilere of AOL Fanhouse, are suggesting that the Royals may already have an agreement in place with the 21-year-old. Grandal batted .422/.545/.754 with 14 home runs for the Hurricanes this season. He is highly-regarded for his abilities behind the plate and is projected to arrive to the majors rather quickly.

There’s little doubt by now that the Nationals will take Bryce Harper with the No. 1 pick. The Pirates, who hold the second pick in the draft, are reportedly deciding between shortstop Manny Machado or right-hander Jameson Taillon. The Orioles, who pick third, will likely take whoever the Pirates don’t. Therefore, it’s fairly certain that Grandal will still be there when the Royals make their selection.

By the way, get ready. We’ll have plenty more coverage of the draft on Monday.

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.