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Padres, Robbie Erlin avoid arbitration

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Padres and pitcher Robbie Erlin have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. The lefty was in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Erlin, 28, pitched both out of the rotation and out of the bullpen for the Padres last year, making 12 starts and 27 relief appearances. Altogether, he posted a 4.21 ERA with 88 strikeouts and 12 walks in 109 innings. It was his first season back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2016. Erlin’s workload was managed as a result.

The Padres have a handful of candidates at the back end of the rotation and Erlin is among them. Needless to say, if he doesn’t capture a rotation spot at the end of spring training, he’ll work out of the bullpen once again.

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.