Groan-inducing quote of the day: Jon Heyman on the Escobar trade

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The WAR folks like Yunel apparently. I know this, Bobby Cox hated going to war with this guy.

Jon Heyman, slamming sabermetrics and Yunel Escobar in one beautifully facepalm-inducing tweet.

I actually see this trade more like Heyman does than like a lot of my friends in the sabermetric community because I have always had this sense that Escobar is something less than the sum of his parts. But a few hours in, I think both the pro-Escobar and the anti-Escobar sides have overplayed their hands a bit.  This kind of thing from Heyman — and especially this overheated hit job by the AJC’s Mark Bradley (Really? His English is the issue?) — seem a bit much.  At the same time, a lot of the more sabermetrically-oriented analysis of the deal discounts the Braves’ distaste for Escobar a bit too much.

This is a trade that could really go either way. The Braves should be given some benefit of the doubt about their judgment here because they know the guy more than any of us ever will be able to. Likewise, those opposed to the trade from the Braves’ perspective are absolutely right to note that the Braves are selling low and could wind up really getting burned.  In light of this currently-unresolvable ambiguity, everyone should probably tone it down a bit.

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.