The New York Mets have signed reliever Brad Brach to a one-year deal worth $850,000, with a player option for 2021 worth $1.25 million. In total, Brach will earn $1.35 million next season, as the Chicago Cubs are still on the hook for $500,000 in 2020. The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. To make room for Brach on the 40-man roster, the team announced that they have designated Chris Flexen for assignment.
Brach’s overall numbers for 2019 aren’t impressive, but he was perfectly cromulent with the Mets. The Freehold NJ native and lifelong Mets fan—he was in attendance for Game 3 of the 2015 World Series—started the year with the Cubs but struggled to the tune of a 6.13 ERA, a 4.12 FIP, a 1.77 WHIP, a 6.4 BB/9, a 10.2 K/9, and a -0.4 bWAR in 39.2 innings. The Cubs DFA’d the right-hander and released him outright on August 6. From there, the Mets picked him up for the stretch run on August 9.
Brach was much better while pitching for his favorite team. In 14.2 innings, he posted a 3.68 ERA, a 2.67 FIP, a 1.23 WHIP, a 1.8 BB/9, a 9.2 K/9, and a 0.3 bWAR over 16 appearances. He ended the year with five consecutive scoreless outings. He will join Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman as relievers who are likely locks to start the year in the team’s bullpen—barring any unforeseen injuries or trades.
The Mets still need to pick up at least one—and most likely two—relievers to round out their bullpen in 2020, and there are several options available to the team, as outlined in “Let’s find the Mets a relief pitcher, Part 1”.