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Report: MLB sets new record for revenues at $10.3 billion in 2018

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Once again, Major League Baseball has set a new record for revenues at $10.3 billion for 2018, Maury Brown of Forbes reports. It’s the 16th consecutive year in which MLB has topped its previous record.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. As Brown notes, revenue growth was slower compared to previous years as a result of a decline in attendance, which also negatively impacted concessions and parking. Still, $10.3 billion is a pretty hefty sum.

Despite team owners largely making money hand over fist, we are once again twiddling our thumbs during baseball’s offseason as the free agent market has grinded to a halt, just like last year. On Twitter, Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts said, “It is January 7 and 6 teams have not signed a major league free agent, and 5 more teams have [spent] less than $10M. That is over a third of the sport just not participating in free agency.”

Along with that, there has been no progress made on addressing the issue of paying minor leaguers a livable wage. In fact, MLB lobbied extensively over the last handful of years in order for language in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to be amended, classifying minor leaguers as seasonal workers and thus depriving them of a minimum wage and overtime pay.

So, that’s where we’re at. There’s really no reason for these issues to persist, given record revenues, aside from avarice.

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.