Cubs keeping “all options open” with Alfonso Soriano

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Now that Alfonso Soriano has “only” two more years remaining on his massive contract Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune asked Theo Epstein if that means he’s unlikely to be traded, but the Cubs president replied: “No, you have to leave all options open.”

Epstein was quick to note that Soriano now has the ability to veto any trade “so if he doesn’t want to go anywhere, he doesn’t have to.” However, he added that if a potential deal comes up the Cubs “will bring it to him” as a possibility for approval.

In other words, if Soriano has another decent season–he hit .262 with 32 homers and an .821 OPS last year–the Cubs will definitely be trying to cash him in for some value or at least clear some of his 2013-2014 money off the books.

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.