Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Ex-Tribe closer Allen joins Rangers' bullpen mix

@Sullivan_Ranger
February 7, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Cody Allen, who had a five-year run as the Indians’ closer, has reached an agreement with the Rangers on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Allen, 31, will receive a $1.3 million base salary with incentives if he makes the Major League

ARLINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Cody Allen, who had a five-year run as the Indians’ closer, has reached an agreement with the Rangers on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Allen, 31, will receive a $1.3 million base salary with incentives if he makes the Major League team. The Rangers now have 68 players coming to Spring Training, including 38 pitchers.

Allen could be a serious candidate for the Rangers’ bullpen if he can overcome his troubles from last season with the Angels. He pitched in 25 games after signing a one-year contract as a free agent and was 0-2 with a 6.26 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP.

"Cody obviously has had a ton of prior success with the Indians," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "He has worked really hard this offseason to address the things with his delivery, biomechanics and strength/mobility that were causing his inconsistencies. If he can get close to regaining his old form from a few years ago, we feel he has a chance to really help us. His experience pitching at the back end of a championship-caliber bullpen is invaluable. His character and leadership are a huge plus and could really help guys like [Jesse] Chavez stabilize a young core in the bullpen."

After spending time on the injured list from April 26 to May 7 with a strained lower back, Allen was released by the Angels in June. He signed a Minor League contract with the Twins but was released on July 31 without pitching in the big leagues.

Allen was with the Indians from 2012-18 and was their closer for the last five of those seasons. In a four-year stretch from ’14-17, he had 120 saves, a 1.10 WHIP and averaged 12.11 strikeouts per nine innings. Allen was exceptional during the 2016 postseason, when the Indians went to the World Series. He pitched in 10 games, did not allow a run and was perfect in six save opportunities. In 13 2/3 innings, he allowed eight hits and five walks while striking out 24.

Allen had 27 saves for the Indians in 2018, but his velocity was down and his ERA went up to 4.70 with a 1.36 WHIP.

At his best, Allen has a 94 mph fastball with a swing-and-miss curve. The curve was still an effective pitch for him last season, but the fastball velocity was down to 92 mph .

Allen has 153 career saves. That is the most by any Rangers pitcher coming to camp. José Leclerc, the Rangers’ projected closer, has 28 career saves. No other pitcher has more than 10.

The Rangers also have signed left-handed pitcher Brandon Mann to a Minor League contract without an invitation to big league camp. Mann, who pitched in Japan last season, made seven relief appearances with the Rangers in 2018 with a 5.40 ERA. That is the only big league action in his career.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.