On Wednesday night, the Indians agreed to terms with Allen on a one-year contract for the 2018 campaign, avoiding arbitration with the closer in his final year of eligibility. The pact is worth $10.575 million, according to the Associated Press.
Allen, 28, has been a core piece of the bullpen since 2013. He ranks first among relievers in franchise history with 484 strikeouts and 386 appearances. Among franchise closer he ranks fourth with 122 saves.
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In the last four years, Allen ranks third in the AL with 120 saves behind Zach Britton with 135 and David Robertson with 124.
Last season Allen went 3-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 69 games. He converted 30 of 34 save opportunities, striking out 92 and walking 21 in 67 1/3 innings. The opposition hit .221 against him — .209 by lefties and .230 by righties — and had an on base percentage of .285.
He converted 22 straight saves, not including the postseason in 2016 when he was six-for-six, from Aug. 18, 2016 through May 23, 2017.
Allen is currently eligible to hit the free-agent market after the 2018 season, as is Andrew Miller, putting the future of the Indians bullpen in a precarious position.
Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith left through free agency this offseason to join the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros, respectively.
The rising cost of the Indians’ roster, including players eligible for the arbitration such as Allen, and those on multiyear deals such as Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Tomlin, have made retaining or signing this winter’s crop of free agents difficult. Paying those players alone, the organization believes, will increase the payroll by $25 million to $30 million this year.
The Indians set a franchise record with a $124 million payroll last year. It will go up this year.
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