Nolan Arenado
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Nolan Arenado and the Rockies are $6 million apart in arbitration

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Nolan Arenado and the Rockies are currently $6 million apart in arbitration figures. Arenado asked for $30 million, while the club countered with $24 million. Rosenthal adds that even if Arenado is awarded the lower number, he’ll eclipse Josh Donaldson‘s record-breaking $23 million deal with the highest single-season salary figure to be awarded in arbitration.

Arenado, 27, certainly has the skillset to back up such a big ask. The 2018 season marked his fourth consecutive All-Star campaign, and he took home a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger after batting a robust .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, 110 RBI, a .935 OPS, and career-best 5.7 fWAR through 673 PA. On defense, he finished third among all qualified major-league third baseman, outpaced only by the Athletics’ fellow Gold Glover Matt Chapman and the Mariners’ Kyle Seager.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan cites sources that say the two sides are likely to resolve matters in advance of any mandatory arbitration hearing. Of course, there’s more to consider here than Arenado’s immediate value to the Rockies. Thomas Harding of MLB.com points out that a “multi-year contract is the goal,” though Colorado could be waiting on free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to sign elsewhere so that they have a more definite valuation for their slugger. It’s also possible, of course, that Arenado will eschew a long-term deal in order to test the open market when he enters free agency in 2020.

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.