Texas Rangers: Cody Allen signing represents low-risk, high-reward deal

The Texas Rangers added a notable free agent name in Cody Allen on Friday. However, on a minors deal, this represents a low-risk opportunity.

The Texas Rangers continue to pile up the free agent signings and bullpen depth after adding RHP Cody Allen on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League camp in Spring Training. The deal, announced Friday by the club, represents another low-risk chance by the Rangers, albeit with a much more notable name in Cody Allen.

Allen, 31, is a prime bounce back candidate after being one of the most dominant relievers in baseball earlier in his career. In each season from 2015-2017, Allen record 30 or more saves with an ERA under 3.00. The 2015 season was his best as he made 70 relief appearances for the Indians recording a career-high 34 saves. He posted a 2.99 ERA to with a stellar 1.82 FIP and had a 12.85 strikeout per nine innings rate.

A dip in Allen’s career started in 2018 when his ERA spiked to 4.70 and a -0.1 fWAR, the first time his fWAR had been a negative in his career. He signed a one-year contract with the Angels in January of 2019 and made 25 appearances for Los Angeles posting a 6.26 ERA and seeing his velocity drop sharply. The Angels designated Allen for assignment in June of last season and he landed with the Twins on a minor league deal before being released at the end of July.

The Rangers will be hoping that Allen can regain his velocity and ability to create swing-and-miss while with the club this spring. Texas is looking for options to fill a few of their relief roles next season and adding a veteran like Allen who has shown an ability to be consistently dominant in the past represents a low-risk, high-reward signing.

Along with Cody Allen, the Rangers announced that they had signed former reliever Brandon Mann to a minor league deal as well. Mann, a lefty, made his big league debut for the Rangers in 2018 appearing in seven games and throwing 8.1 innings. He then moved to play professionally in Japan where he played for the Chiba Lotte Marines and posted a 4.70 ERA in 59.1 innings of work. The 35-year old will be looking to impress early as he looks to earn an extended shot in Major League Baseball.

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