Eric Thames, formerly of the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Orioles, has been playing in the Korean Baseball Organization with the NC Dinos since the start of the 2014 season. He’s been enjoying his time there thus far, it appears, as he posted a 1.111 OPS with 37 home runs and 121 RBI in 514 plate appearances last year, and has a 1.185 OPS with 11 home runs and 33 RBI in 145 PA this season.
One of those home runs was this monster, which Thames posted to Twitter himself:
(A tip of the ballcap to Ian Hunter on Twitter for the video.)
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.