So far at least a change of scenery hasn’t done Justin Masterson any good. He had a 5.51 ERA in 19 starts for the Indians and now he has a 7.43 ERA in five starts for the Cardinals.
Masterson failed to make it out of the fourth inning Sunday against the Phillies, allowing five runs while recording nine outs, and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that “the staff will have to reconsider his spot in the rotation” if his next scheduled start Saturday goes poorly as well.
St. Louis added both Masterson and John Lackey at the trade deadline and the two veteran starters have combined to post a 6.38 ERA in 48 innings. Lackey is signed through 2015, but Masterson is an impending free agent whose likely market value has plummeted.
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.