Indians and Allen Avoid Arbitration with One Year Agreement
Bob Toth | On 11, Jan 2018
Reliever Cody Allen and the Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration on Wednesday when the two sides agreed to a one-year, $10.575 million contract for the 2018 season.
The deal, reported first by Tom Withers of the Associated Press, has not yet been formally announced by the Indians.
The right-hander Allen, who turned 29 in November, has been a key cog in the Indians bullpen dating back to the 2012 season, when he came up midseason and never looked back. In the five years since his debut effort, he has made no fewer than 67 appearances and has saved as many as 34 games (during the 2015 season). In working as one of manager Terry Francona’s more trusted and durable relievers, Allen has climbed the Indians’ all-time leaderboard for saves with 122 in his career, 17 in back of the franchise’s leader, Bob Wickman. He has finished in the top ten in the American League in saves over each of the last four years.
Last season, the underrated closer went 3-7 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, saving 30 games in 34 opportunities.
Allen’s raise boosts his salary significantly from his figures of a year ago. He made $7.35 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility after receiving a $4.15 million payday for the 2016 season. MLBTradeRumors.com had estimated a salary of $10.8 million through arbitration this winter.
The contract could mark Allen’s final in Cleveland – he is set to become a free agent following the 2018 season.
The Indians still have work to do with four other players who qualify for arbitration eligibility this offseason. Those players (with MLBTR estimates in parentheses) – Trevor Bauer ($7.7M), Lonnie Chisenhall ($5.8M), Zach McAllister ($2.4M), and Danny Salazar ($5.2M) – are scheduled to exchange salary wishes with the team on Friday. The team has gone to arbitration hearings with players just twice since 1991 and came away victorious in each circumstance.
Allen’s return for the coming season ensures another familiar and dependable arm in the Indians’ depleted bullpen, one that has already suffered losses of Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith to free agency. The team has also subtracted Boone Logan (option declined) and Shawn Armstrong (trade with Seattle) from its list of candidates. Like Allen, both McAllister and All-Star Andrew Miller are set to hit free agency after the season, potentially dealing a substantial blow to the Cleveland bullpen as it is currently constructed.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty images