Free-agent reliever Cody Allen held a showcase for interested teams in Dallas on Friday, according to Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com. Nineteen clubs attended, per Hoynes, who notes Allen’s fastball sat in the 89 mph to 90 mph range in what was his first bullpen session of the offseason. The Indians – Allen’s first MLB team – were not at the showcase, Hoynes reports.
Allen was one of the majors’ most effective relievers as recently as 2017, his last of five straight outstanding seasons with Cleveland, but his stock has dropped precipitously since then. He struggled in his final year as a member of the Indians in 2018, though Allen still scored a guarantee worth $8.5MM with the Angels last winter.
The Allen gamble didn’t work out at all for the Halos, with whom the right-hander’s decline continued over the first couple months of 2019. Although Allen did strike out 11.35 batters per nine across 23 innings as an Angel, a horrid 7.83 walk rate and a bloated 6.26 ERA offset his high K/9, which led the team to release him in mid-June.
Allen didn’t catch on in the majors again after the Angels said goodbye. He instead spent just over a month with the Twins on a minor league contract and tossed eight frames with their Triple-A affiliate before they cut the cord at the end of July. The 31-year-old hasn’t pitched professionally since – not only thanks to his weak bottom-line production last season, but because of a marked drop in velocity. At his best, Allen was a dominant Indians closer whose average fastball checked in around 95 mph. However, that number fell to a personal-worst 92.3 mph in 2019.