On the same day he saved the 100th game of his career Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he definitely plans to continue pitching next season at age 41.
And performance-wise there’s certainly no reason for him to call it quits, as Hawkins has thrown 68 innings with a 3.06 ERA and 53/10 K/BB ratio that stands out as the best of his two-decade career.
Hawkins was a bust as a starter and then as a closer with the Twins early in his career, but settled in as one of the most consistently solid right-handed setup men in baseball for the past dozen years or so. He has a 3.09 ERA in 711 total innings since 2002 and has had an ERA above 4.00 just twice during that time. He’s been closing for the Mets in Bobby Parnell’s absence, but expect Hawkins to land another setup gig.
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.