While most of us assume that the Yankees are all about the pitching at the trade deadline, Jon Heyman tells us that isn’t so:
They’ve talked to the Phillies about Shane Victorino and the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, but Upton is a major long shot for them and right now they see the price tag as too high on either. Victorino may be slightly more realistic eventually, though.
Heyman says uncertainty about Brett Gardner is driving the desire for Victorino. It’s possible that a desire to beat the Mets out for having the most famous Hawaiian baseball player in New York history is at play too.
Curse you, Sid Fernandez! Curse you!
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. UPDATE: Per Rosenthal, the deal is done at one year, $8.5 million.
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.