Royals place Jason Vargas on disabled list with elbow injury

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Royals left-hander Jason Vargas is headed to the disabled list with a strained flexor tendon.

Vargas was off to a rough start this season, posting a 5.26 ERA through five outings, but he tossed six innings of two-run ball against the Indians on Wednesday. And now the Royals will hold their breath waiting to see if the injury leads to Tommy John elbow surgery in the second season of a four-year, $32 million deal.

Journeyman right-hander Yohan Pino takes Vargas’ spot on the roster, Chris Young figures to take his spot in the rotation, and Kansas City will likely be relying on its fantastic bullpen even more than before.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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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.