Phillies pitcher Matt Harrison, acquired from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade, has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports. Hypothyroidism is when a person’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce thyroid hormones. Harrison is hopeful the diagnosis will allow him to effectively deal with weight loss, back problems, and a loss of velocity.
On Friday, the Phillies placed Harrison on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation. The lefty said he would’ve gone on the disabled list even if he hadn’t been traded, but added that he’s dealing with back stiffness as opposed to back pain.
Harrison, 29, has made a total of nine starts dating back to the start of the 2013 season. He had spinal fusion surgery in June of 2014 and made his return to the mound on July 8 this season. He made only three starts, posting a 6.75 ERA with a 6/5 K/BB ratio in 16 innings.
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.