The Rangers have announced a minor-league deal with righty Cody Allen. He’ll receive an invitation to participate in MLB Spring Training.
Southpaw Brandon Mann is also joining the Texas organization. His own minors deal won’t come with a spring invite.
Allen is a classic bounceback candidate. The 31-year-old was a high-quality reliever for years until he ran into a tough 2018 season and then collapsed in the following season.
Last year, Allen’s entire approach was shaken as he lost velocity and suffered a dive in his swinging-strike rate. His walk rate shot up while opposing hitters ran up a 54.5% hard contact rate and 94.3 mph average exit velocity.
Allen does still possess elite fastball spin, so there’s something to build off of. Perhaps a lengthy respite and some tweaking will help him get back on track.
As for Mann, 35, he made a stunning (but brief) late-career MLB debut with the Rangers in 2018. He worked for Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines last year, turning in 59 1/3 innings of 4.70 ERA pitching with 10.3 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.