7:15pm: Allen would receive a $1.4MM base salary if he makes the major league roster, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive (on Twitter).
Allen, 30 in March, has appeared in the big leagues in each of the past six seasons. Initially a Cleveland draftee, he spent the 2017-19 campaigns there as a depth outfielder before being dealt to the Padres in the 2020 trade that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego for a six-player package including Cal Quantrill, Austin Hedges and Josh Naylor. Allen would only appear in one game with the Padres and was designated for assignment the following offseason.
Traded to the Yankees, he spent most of the year in Triple-A after going unclaimed on waivers. The switch-hitter had a big season at the top minor league level to earn a brief MLB look, in which he hit .270/.417/.432 in 15 games. That was enough for the Pirates to take a flier when he hit waivers last offseason and the Bucs gave him his most extended major league run in three years.
Allen couldn’t maintain his 2021 form over a larger sample, hitting .186/.260/.271 with a lofty 31.3% strikeout percentage through 134 trips to the plate. Pittsburgh ran the former 6th-round draftee through waivers late last season. He cleared and elected minor league free agency at year’s end.
In exactly 800 MLB plate appearances, Allen is a .232/.299/.336 hitter. He’s hit 10 home runs with a below-average 5.6% walk rate. The speedster has been very effective on the basepaths, though, swiping 45 bases in 53 career attempts. That’s an excellent 85% success rate, including an 8-10 showing in 46 games with the Bucs last year.
Allen’s speed gives him the ability to cover all three outfield positions. Advanced metrics have been mixed on his work in center field. Defensive Runs Saved has pegged him 12 runs below average in a little less than 1000 innings at the outfield’s most demanding spot. Statcast, on the other hand, has rated him three runs above par in center. He’s drawn unanimously strong marks in the corners, particularly in left field.
Boston doesn’t have much upper level outfield depth, with Allen presumably battling Jarren Duran and potentially a future acquisition or two for a depth role behind Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo and Enrique Hernández (who could also be thrust into a heavier infield workload thanks to the Trevor Story injury). Allen is out of minor league option years, meaning he’d have to stick on the active roster or be offered to other teams if he earns an MLB promotion at any point.