Cody Allen could be the answer for the Giants at closer

Cody Allen. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Cody Allen. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants have a vacancy as closer, and despite recent struggles, Cody Allen could be a great low-cost option to fill that vacancy.

With Will Smith‘s departure in free agency, the San Francisco Giants still do not have a clear closer heading into 2020.

Could Cody Allen be the answer for their current lack of a proven ninth-inning option?

The 31-year-old is coming off of a rough year with the Los Angeles Angels.

After five straight scoreless appearances to start the 2019 season, he allowed at least one earned run in six of his next seven outings, and was quickly removed from the ninth-inning role as a result.

He closed out the year with a 6.26 ERA in 23 innings, allowing nine home runs and issuing 20 walks before he was released on June 18.

Those numbers don’t inspire much confidence, but a look at his stats from 2014-2018 are reason enough to think he might be worth a flier.

During that span, he recorded 147 saves in 167 chances with a 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 while averaging 70 appearances per season.

While his ERA has climbed in each of the past four seasons, it’s not out of the question to think he could rebound from his 2019 struggles.

He suffered a lumbar strain last year which may have played a role in his control issues. Plus, he recently held a showcase for teams where he reportedly hit 90 MPH with his fastball and 82 MPH with his curveball.

The Giants may want to take a look at Allen given their closer situation. Daniel Hudson recently re-signed with the Washington Nationals, so the top remaining reliever is now off the market.

At this point, Tony Watson seems like the most likely in-house candidate to handle the closer’s role. But even if he breaks camp with the job, it would not hurt to have another arm in the bullpen with closer experience in case he falters.

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Considering how much Allen struggled last year, he should come at a significantly discounted price from the $8.5 million he earned last year. If the Giants can get him for cheap, he’s worth taking a chance on as a candidate to fill the closer vacancy left behind by Will Smith.