Scott Kazmir to make Astros debut Friday

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The Astros acquired Scott Kazmir from the Athletics on Thursday and Julia Morales of Root Sports passes along word that the veteran southpaw will debut with his new club tomorrow night against the Royals.

Kazmir has had a couple of health scares this year, but he has posted an excellent 2.38 ERA and 101/35 K/BB ratio over 109 2/3 innings and gives Houston a fine No. 2 alongside staff ace Dallas Keuchel. The Astros flipped two pretty good prospects, catcher Jacob Nottingham and right-hander Daniel Mengden, in order to get a deal done. The 31-year-old Kazmir is due to be a free agent this winter, but the Astros are clearly going for it. In fact, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he’s still talking about more deals.

Now that Kazmir will pitch Friday, the Astros will have Scott Feldman pitch Saturday and Keuchel on Sunday. Vincent Velasquez, who earned his first major league victory on Tuesday against the Red Sox, will pitch out of the bullpen for now.

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.