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Indians, Cody Allen avoid arbitration

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The Indians and closer Cody Allen have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $10.575 million salary for the 2018 season, Tom Withers of the Associated Press reports. Allen was eligible for arbitration for the third and final time.

Allen, 29, recorded 30 saves with a 2.94 ERA and a 92/21 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 innings last season, helping the Indians return to the postseason. Across his six-year career with the Indians, Allen has racked up 122 saves with a 2.67 ERA and 484 strikeouts in 373 2/3 innings, establishing himself as one of the better closers in the league.

The Indians’ other pending arbitration cases include Trevor Bauer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Danny Salazar, and Zach McAllister.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.