4. Cody Allen, RHP
You guys may remember Cody Allen as the Angels reliever who couldn’t get the Mariners out in 2019. You may also remember him as the closer for some of the best teams in Cleveland baseball history. Who he really is today maybe somewhere in the middle.
Allen was horrible in 2019 and posted an 8.39 FIP and -0.7 fWAR in only 23 innings for the Angels and Twins. Interestingly enough, Allen still posted tremendous strikeout numbers (11.35 K/9) but he also completely lost his control (7.83 BB/9). So why should the Mariners, or any team for that matter, be interested?
Consider Hunter Strickland, who the Mariners signed at the lowest point of his value last winter. He came to Seattle, showed well in Spring Training, looked good for 2 games before he got hurt and missed 3 months, and was still able to net the team a solid relief prospect despite just 4 games played for Seattle.
Allen still has decent stuff, including a fastball with elite spin rates, but struggled to adjust to his diminishing fastball velocity. Allen’s heater has lost juice consistently over the past 4 years and his production has taken a hit every season since then.
But the Mariners are quite good at developing relievers and have even shown an ability to add some velocity to certain arms. Seattle also likes to take chances on relievers with high fastball spin rates like Austin Adams.
While having a “proven closer” is mostly bogus, there can be some value to having an arm who has been there on a young bullpen to help take the pressure off the many young arms that the Mariners will employ in their bullpen.
Ultimately, Allen will cost the team nothing and would need to earn his spot on the team. If Seattle can help Allen find a little extra velocity or help him reach his old self another way, it could pay dividends down the line.