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White Sox sign outfielder Jon Jay

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported last night that the White Sox have agreed to terms with Jon Jay, pending a physical. It’s a one-year, $4 million deal.

Jay, who will turn 34 in March, hit .268/.330/.347 with three homers for the Royals and Diamondbacks last season. That’s not great but then again neither are the White Sox’ current outfield options. A side note to this is that, apparently, Jay, along is tight with Manny Machado and trains with him in the offseason. As does fellow White Sox signee Yonder Alonso, who is actually Machado’s brother-in-law. Some have characterized the acquisition of those two as another step in the “recruitment” of Machado.

Which, sure, I imagine might be something that’d make Machado think kind thoughts about the White Sox, but it also seems like those kind thoughts would be limited. Machado is looking to sign a very long term deal. Jay and Alonso are gonna be in Chicago for a year or two, tops. I can’t imagine that is anything approaching as big a factor in where Machado signs as money, years and the prospect of winning are. But I also suppose it doesn’t hurt.

Either way, it’s a slow January and we gotta talk about somethin’. This is more interesting to talk about than a lot of other stuff.

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.