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Nationals sign Brian Dozier to one-year, $9 million deal

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Jeff Passan reports that the Washington Nationals have signed second baseman Brian Dozier to a one-year, $9 million deal.

Dozier, 31, split time with the Twins and Dodgers last season, putting up a combined line of .215/.305/.391 with 21 homers in 151 games. That was a considerable falloff from what he had done over the previous several seasons, but it’s also better than what the Nats got out of Wilmer Difo in 2018. Difo, presumably, will fall into a utility role.

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.