Justin Verlander threw four simulated innings on Tuesday

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Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander took what might be the final step before a rehab assignment Tuesday afternoon at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum, throwing four innings of simulated action without experiencing any discomfort in his right triceps.

According to beat writer Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, the veteran allowed zero runs on three hits and one walk. He struck out eight, but it should be noted that Verlander was facing a group of teammates and it was a pretty loose environment. He even simulated the national anthem before he began pitching, holding his cap next to his heart in front of the mound for a minute.

Verlander has been out all season with a right triceps strain, but he’s now finally trending in the right direction. If he can avoid further setbacks, the 32-year-old should be ready to make his 2015 debut in mid-to-late June.

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.