In an effort to keep Coco Crisp healthier after missing at least 25 games in each of the past four seasons, the A’s announced that the longtime center fielder is moving to left field.
Crisp is 35 years old, which is past the point when most center fielders shift to corner spots. He graded out very poorly in advanced defensive metrics last year, rating -14 runs in Ultimate Zone Rating and -17 runs in Defensive Runs Saved. So there’s more to the move than health considerations.
The move leaves Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld to platoon in center field, which figures to be a large upgrade defensively but ensures the A’s will have a lineup spot with very little pop offensively. In the short term it doesn’t change much, since Gentry and Fuld were going to play in left field anyway, but it does cut down on potential lineup options later.
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.