Are the Cubs moving on from Craig Kimbrel as the closer already?
No. Don’t get too excited. I mean, maybe they’re thinking about it, but it won’t be because of their latest signing.
The Cubs have reportedly signed Cody Allen, who you may remember was Cleveland’s closer in 2016.
So, the career numbers look great for the righty. A 3.14 ERA, three straight seasons of 30+ saves, but Allen hasn’t been very good for a handful of years. In 2018, he threw 67 innings for Cleveland and posted a 4.70 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP.
Last year with the Angels Allen really fell off, and only appeared in 25 games. He had a 6.26 ERA and 1.91 WHIP! So, in his last two seasons Allen’s walk rate has been at about 14%. Not great when the Cubs bullpen is already filled with guys who can’t find the strike zone.
Allen’s fastball velocity has also gone down, averaging 94mph in 2018 and 92.8mph in 2019 after consistently throwing 96mph in the previous five seasons.
But sure, why not take a flyer on a guy who has a decent track record and it’s not like it’s costing the Cubs a bunch of money or making them less flexible. This isn’t a case like Brad Brach, who the Cubs spent a few million dollars on and then couldn’t really get rid of him until deep into the summer last year.