Cuban center fielder Guillermo Heredia, who defected 13 months ago in the hopes of signing with an MLB team, has agreed to a deal with the Mariners.
No word yet on the terms of the contract, but because Heredia is 25 years old any money used to sign him won’t count against the Mariners’ yearly international bonus pool.
Ben Badler of Baseball America, who’s the go-to source for scouting reports on international prospects, wrote last year that Heredia “is a plus defender” in center field with “good range to go with a strong arm.” However, according to Badler “the question mark scouts have is on his bat.”
Heredia is a career .285 hitter in Cuba with as many walks as strikeouts in 374 total games, but has limited power and is not a base-stealing threat. Leonys Martin–who defected from Cuba in 2011 to sign with the Rangers–is atop the Mariners’ depth chart in center field, so Heredia is unlikely to be handed a full-time job in the majors right away.
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.