The Yankees spoke with Edwin Jackson’s agent

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Missed this the other day, but since it’s “collect every tenuous rumor” season around here, may as well add it to the pile:  the Yankees met with Edwin Jackson’s agent the other day for “preliminary discussions.”

Not too interesting in and of itself. The Yankees need pitching so they’re obviously going to talk to tons of pitchers, partially out of interest, partially to signal to the guys they are interested in that they have other options. Conversations with  Jackson’s people could be a Mark Buehrle or C.J. Wilson negotiating ploy. Frankly, that kind of stuff interests me way more than actually considering Edwin Jackson pitching in New York.

At some point someone should write the definitive book about the hot stove season. How it works, collecting war stories. Getting people to dish on all of the crazy stuff that actually happens in negotiations.  We often get standalone stories like that after a big signing — “inside the Carl Crawford negotiation!” — but I’d read 300 pages about that kind of thing if it was out there, wouldn’t you?

Anyway, Jackson is 28 and has electric stuff that sometimes looks awesome and sometimes looks terrible. He’s one of those dudes who has already pitched for a zillion teams and I imagine he’ll be in Kenny Lofton/Matt Stairs territory before it’s all done.  I have a hard time seeing him in pinstripes on a four-year deal.

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.