Zach Britton
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Report: Yankees to sign Zach Britton

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The Yankees are finalizing terms with left-handed reliever Zach Britton, according to multiple reports from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN’s Jeff Passan, among others. It’s said to be a three-year deal for at least $39 million, though the total value could shoot up to $53 million if the Yankees elect to pick up Britton’s option for a fourth season. The club has yet to officially confirm the acquisition, but is expected to do so once the lefty clears his physical.

The 31-year-old Britton will reprise his setup role with the Yankees after pitching to a respectable 2.88 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 during the second half of the 2018 season. While he’s several years removed from his All-Star status in Baltimore, his recent issues on the mound have primarily stemmed from prior forearm and Achilles tendon injuries and are unlikely to have as drastic an effect on his numbers in 2019.

As previously noted, this doesn’t necessarily signal the end of the Yankees’ search for bullpen depth. They’re still said to be in on right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino and could make a push to sign him sometime this spring, if not much sooner.

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.