Sep 24, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches to the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. The Indians win 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
2015 Stats: 34 saves, 2.99 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 12.85 K/9
While he may not be the flashiest name on the list, Allen is an under the radar option that could prove to be the best value. He set a career-high in saves this year as the closer for the Cleveland Indians, while posting the 7th best strikeout rate in the majors.
He doesn’t have the longest of track records, but Allen has been reliable and durable in his brief career, having topped 69 innings in each of the last three years. He can handle a heavy workload and is even capable of recording more than three outs in an appearance, having gone longer than one inning 11 times this season. That’s not something the Red Sox are comfortable letting Uehara do at this stage of his career, so having a young arm like Allen at the back of the bullpen would provide manager John Farrell with more flexibility.
Allen isn’t arbitration eligible until next year, so Cleveland won’t be inclined to trade him unless they are presented with an offer they can’t refuse. The Red Sox have been eyeing some of the young power arms in Cleveland’s rotation, so if the Indians insist on asking for some of the best prospects in Boston’s system, perhaps the Red Sox can insist on Allen being part of the deal as well. By cashing some chips from their deep farm system, the Red Sox could potentially find a new ace and closer in one swoop.