Phillies looked into Michael Young, talks didn’t get far

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From ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Phillies reached out to the Rangers recently about a possible trade for disgruntled infielder Michael Young, but that talks did not get far.

A source told Crasnick that the Phils were only “tire kicking” and that the conversation was “brief.”

As it should have been.  The Phillies are already committed to Placido Polanco at third base, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and Chase Utley at second.  And they should be happy with that crew.

But it makes sense that the Phils would at least ask.  The Rockies have done the same, as have the Dodgers, Astros and Cardinals.  It’s safe to assume, really, that almost every major league club has at least made contact with the Rangers’ front office to see what kind of swap they might be open to.

The Rangers are really going to struggle to find a landing spot for Young.  He is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, his defense at the hot corner is not great, and he has not produced quality offensive numbers away from the power-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington.  On top of all that, he is 34 years old.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels is not going to be forced into making a bad deal and he’s not simply going to eat the money remaining on Young’s contract.  The veteran may simply have to suck it up and begin traveling to Rangers camp.  There are plenty of at-bats available to him in Texas at DH and first base.

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.