Luis Valbuena has avoided arbitration with the Cubs by signing a one-year, $930,000 deal, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Chicago claimed Valbuena off waivers last April and he ended up getting 303 plate appearances, including 72 starts at third base, but he hit just .219 with four homers and a .650 OPS.
Valbuena’s career numbers aren’t any better, but the 27-year-old had some solid production in extensive action at Triple-A over the years. He’ll fill a bench role.
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.