The Blue Jays are interested in Heath Bell for some reason

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Pop quiz, hot shot! You’re eleven games back in the AL East with practically no hope whatsoever of contending. The trade deadline is approaching. What do you do? Tell me! What. Do. You. Do?

Well, if you’re the Blue Jays you inquire about the best closer currently available.  At least that’s what Ken Rosenthal says that the Jays are doing, calling on the Padres about Heath Bell.

It makes little sense, though Rosenthal says that they’re looking at him long term rather than just as a rental, and that having him in-house as the season ends would give them a leg up in negotiations.  Maybe — I have no idea how Bell’s bread is buttered and maybe he likes to stay in places where he’s comfy — but it seems odd that they’s want to give up anything of value for him under such risky circumstances.

And even if it were simply fishing for draft pick compensation following an arbitration offer this fall, it strikes me that whatever they’d have to give up for him would largely offset the value of those picks, so why bother?

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.