Chicago Cubs: A reclamation project on a short-term deal?
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Now, with a seeming payroll crunch hampering his ability to land marquee names, like, say – Craig Kimbrel – we’re forced to not even look at the second-tier of guys (Adam Ottavino, namely) – but to sink even deeper into the barrel to find something of value – both on the field and for Tom Ricketts’ pocketbook.
Enter Cody Allen, the former Cleveland Indians closer.
Allen, 30, seemed destined to pull in a major payday heading into last season, with just one year till he hit free agency. From 2013 to 2017, the right-hander made 359 appearances for the Tribe, pitching to a sterling 2.59 ERA (2.86 FIP) while limiting opponents to fewer than one long-ball and striking out just under a dozen batters per nine.
Then, things went sideways for the veteran. Last season, he struggled badly, making 70 appearances but pitching to a 4.70 ERA while seeing his walk rate skyrocket to 4.4 BB/9. He walked more batters, allowed more fly balls and simply failed to execute with any degree of regularity in 2018.