On Saturday, the Anaheim Angels designated Cody Allen for assignment. In 25 appearances, Allen has a 6.26 ERA, with 20 walks and 29 strikeouts in 23 innings. While these numbers are bad, do they really constitute a release of a player that is getting paid $8.5 million? I don't think so, but then again, I am not a general manager.
For those unfamiliar with how this process works, the Angels and Allen will have a few days to decide how to move forward with this assignment. The Angels will be able to trade Allen if they find a suitor, release Allen if no one wants him, or send him to the minors if Allen accepts the demotion. In all likelihood, Allen will be released in the coming days and, unsurprisingly, will have multiple suitors.
While Allen has been shaky as of late, he was one of the best closers for years while with the Cleveland Indians. Between 2014 and 2017, Allen had 120 saves, while also amassing 369 strikeouts in 274 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, last season Allen lost all control of his curveball and saw a significant dip in fastball velocity. While Allen, who is only 30, may never return to form as one of the elite closers in baseball, I believe that he could still be a contributing member to a bullpen.
I wonder if there are any teams that could use a low risk, high reward closer as soon as possible?
Thats right, ladies and gentleman, please enter your Boston Red Sox! The Red Sox have been hovering right around .500 for a majority of the season and the bullpen is one of the major reasons. While they have gone on a mini winning streak as of late, they continue to blow games, with Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier proving to be as average as we all expected. The likes of Brandon Workman have been a pleasant surprise, but it is becoming wildly apparent that the Red Sox need another arm to take some stress off of this bullpen.
The best thing about this move is the fact that the Red Sox don't need for it to work out. If Allen returns to form, the Red Sox found their closer who can take them deep into the playoffs and will be paying him essentially nothing. If he doesn't work out, then they can dump him quicker than a high school crush.
Now, this may all change when Nathan Eovaldi returns from injury, as he is inching closer and closer to joining the big league club. The Red Sox could hypothetically use him as a bullpen arm, rather than a starter. If you look at the Red Sox rotation, it has actually been pretty good as of late and they do not really need him. David Price (aside from his lasting outing against Texas) and Chris Sale have returned to form to bring a filthy 1-2 punch to this team.
If the Red Sox can just fix the bullpen, this team will be right back to where it was last season, which is at the top of the entire baseball world.