Oakland has signed first-round pick Addison Russell, with Jim Callis of Baseball America reporting that the high school shortstop from Florida will get the exact slot figure for the No. 11 pick of $2.625 million.
Prior to the draft Baseball America ranked Russell as the 28th-best player in the class and ESPN.com rated him 19th. Amusingly the BA scouting report compared him to Juan Uribe “for his thick body, arm strength and power potential.”
That was apparently before Russell lost a bunch of weight, but both BA and ESPN cast doubt on his ability to remain at shortstop long term defensively while touting his popat the plate.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.