Indians president Chris Antonetti said today that the club will exercise Corey Kluber‘s $17.5 million option for 2020. If they hadn’t, they would’ve owed Kluber a $1 million buyout and he’d have become a free agent.
Kluber made only seven starts this year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Still, it makes total sense to bring him back in 2020 because (a) those were freak injuries; and (b) there’s every reason to think he’ll bounce back.
And heck, maybe having most of the year off will have some hidden benefits. The guy pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons. His arm will probably benefit from the rest. Or at least that’s the hope.
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.