Washington has been linked to basically every left-handed free agent reliever and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals have “expressed interest” in Scott Downs.
Downs was traded from the Angels to the Braves in July and then left off Atlanta’s playoff roster, but he pitched well overall with a 2.49 ERA and 37/19 K/BB ratio in 43 innings. He’s posted a sub-3.50 ERA in seven consecutive seasons, with a combined 2.33 ERA during that time, although at age 37 the Nationals would probably be scared away from a multi-year commitment.
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.