Mariners sign Kevin Millwood to minor league contract

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The Mariners have added a touch of gray to their otherwise-under-30 starting rotation depth chart.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Seattle agreed to a minor league contract on Sunday evening with veteran righty Kevin Millwood.

The deal comes with an invitation to spring training, where Millwood will get a legitimate chance at claiming a spot as the club’s third, fourth or fifth starter. (It gets kind of murky there beyond Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas).

Millwood, 37, posted a surprising 3.98 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in nine starts for the Rockies last season, issuing only eight walks in 54 1/3 innings. He’ll challenge Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma and youngsters Blake Beavan, Hector Noesi and Charlie Furbush down in Mariners camp.

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.