The Texas Rangers continued to add pitching depth for the organization heading into spring training, as they announced the signing of righthanded reliever Cody Allen and lefthanded pitcher Brandon Mann to minor league deals.
Mann, you may recall, gained fame in 2018 when he was called up by the Rangers and made his major league debut three days shy of his 34th birthday. He pitched for Chiba Lotte in Japan in 2019, but is back in the States this year. Mann did not get an invite to the major league camp, and likely will be a swingman-type for Frisco or Nashville, as needed.
Allen, meanwhile, is a former closer who just a few years ago was one of the better relievers in the majors. From 2013-17 he had a 2.59 ERA and 2.86 FIP in 344.2 IP over 359 appearances, with 122 saves and 457 Ks. He fell apart in 2018, however — from June 1 until the end of the season he had a 5.65 ERA and allowed 24 walks and 9 homers in 43 IP. He signed with the Anaheim Angels for 2019, but was awful for them before being released in June. He then signed a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins, pitched in the minors for them, and was released at the end of July.
Allen’s velocity the last couple of years is down, and he’s been throwing fewer strikes while also getting fewer swings and misses. It seems likely there’s nothing left there, but on a minor league deal, there’s no real harm in taking a look and seeing if he can be fixed.