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Bryce Harper to meet with the Phillies

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The cold-as-ice hot stove shows no signs of heating up, but perhaps this will trick us into feeling some warmth: NBC Sports Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Bryce Harper is going to meet with the Phillies.

They’re actually going to go out to Las Vegas to meet with him. Which is where all the teams were a month ago for the Winter Meetings, during which Harper and his agent reportedly took meetings with teams all week in a hotel suite down the street. Were the Phillies just not invited then? Is there new information that has arisen in the past month that must be obtained?

Harper: So.

Phillies: So.

Phillies: Um, are you still good at baseball?

Harper: Think so. You guys still want an outfielder?

Phillies: Think so.

Then, I presume, another month will pass, with Harper’s signing just barely crowding out stories about un-signed free agents forming an impromptu training camp at IMG Academy in Florida, after which 60% of them take minor league deals and/or retire.

God, baseball is amazing these days.

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.