Yankees sign Adam Ottavino
Coming into the offseason, it seemed almost certain that the Red Sox would sign one of the top three or four relievers on the market, but slowly but surely those guys have come off the board to sign with other teams. Adam Ottavino was one of the few top-tier talents left, but on Thursday he found a new home in pinstripes. The Yankees, who once again are building a loaded relief unit, signed the former Rockies right-hander to a three-year deal worth $27 million. I’m not the biggest Ottavino fan, and am of the mind that he’s become somewhat overrated in some circles this winter. That said, he has made real changes and is absolutely dominant at times. His control, age, lack of consistent track record and health history are issues, but his ceiling and recent success make a three-year deal at $9 million per year a no-brainer. The Yankees lost David Robertson this winter, but with Ottavino now in tow they still have a bullpen with Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Ottavino, Zach Britton and Chad Green. We’ve seen from them that a dynamic bullpen can’t solve everything, but this is a hell of a group.
As for the Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski continues to say he doesn’t see them making a big expenditure in the bullpen, but this really wasn’t that big of an expenditure. Like I said, I’m lower on Ottavino than most but this contract was still very reasonable. If this was too rich for Boston’s blood, I have a feeling most of us are going to be disappointed in what happens with the bullpen heading into camp. That being said, Craig Kimbrel is still out there, and the Phillies are the only team that have really shown any interest. Of course, they’ve also already signed Robertson. Dombrowski can say whatever he wants, but for however long Kimbrel is still out there Red Sox fans are still going to be waiting for Boston to sign the big name and fortify the relief unit.
Cody Allen signs with the Angels
If the Red Sox don’t sign Kimbrel, the assumption is that they’ll at least sign someone on a much cheaper deal. Even if they don’t get the top-tier guy, they could still use another body or two in the later innings. Among those potentially cheaper options, Cody Allen was one of the more intriguing given his past success. His 2018 was very rough, though, and his stock took a major hit because of it. Well, he’s no longer an option for the Red Sox as a report has come out and said the former Indians closer has signed a deal with the Angels. There are no exact terms out as of this writing, but the report says it’s a one-year deal. The Angels are desperate for pitching right now, and Allen will likely be placed ahead of old friend Ty Buttrey on the Angels’ depth chart as their closer. Allen wasn’t the only cheaper option available on the market, and Sergio Romo is probably still my favorite among that group, but Allen would have been an intriguing plan B or C. Now, he’s just another option that’s come off the board.