NESN and Jenny Dell part ways

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It was reported in January that NESN had reassigned sideline reporter Jenny Dell when it was revealed that she was in a romantic relationship with Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Now that reassignment has become a full-blown parting of ways:

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who oversees all of NESN’s on-air operations, acknowledged Thursday morning that Dell has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of the sports cable franchise after she and Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks acknowledged on New Year’s Eve that they were in a relationship.

I think it’s fun that that a reporter having a relationship with a player is a conflict of interest but the team’s chairman controlling the content of the network is not, but I guess that’s not worth exploring too deeply, huh?

In any event, I expect Dell will land someplace comfortable soon. She’s seen as a rising star. Places like Fox and ESPN have baseball programming out the wazoo and a need of faces to put on the screen around and during it. She won’t be out of a job for long.

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.