Ron Gardenhire says the Twins “are making a mad effort” to re-sign Michael Cuddyer

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During a 1500-ESPN radio interview yesterday manager Ron Gardenhire said the Twins “are making a mad effort” to re-sign free agent Michael Cuddyer, adding that “both sides are talking.”

Cuddyer previously visited the Phillies and has reportedly drawn interest from several other teams, and if he signs elsewhere the Type A free agent would fetch the Twins a first-round pick and a supplemental first-round pick.

Cuddyer is beloved in Minnesota, with constant talk about his great leadership and clubhouse presence, but he’ll turn 33 years old during spring training and his actual on-field performance isn’t star-caliber.

This year Cuddyer hit .284 with 20 homers and an .805 OPS in 139 games and his career OPS is .794, which is good but not great for a corner outfielder/first baseman with mediocre defensive chops. There are certainly scenarios in which re-signing Cuddyer makes sense for the Twins, but a three- or four-year deal in excess of $10 million per season would be awfully risky without carrying much upside.

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.