Seattle has signed Josh Bard to a minor-league contract for the second straight offseason.
Last year he spent most of the first half at Triple-A before joining the Mariners for good in early July and hitting .214 with a .634 OPS in 39 games while backing up Adam Moore.
This time around he’ll compete with Moore for the job backing up Miguel Olivo, who the Mariners signed to a two-year, $7 million contract last month.
Bard has played for five teams in parts of nine seasons in the majors, and new Mariners manager Eric Wedge is familiar with him from their time together in Cleveland from 2003 to 2005.
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.