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Aroldis Chapman, Josh Hader named Relievers of the Year

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Yankees lefty reliever Aroldis Chapman and Brewers closer Josh Hader were selected as the AL and NL Relievers of the Year on Saturday, per an official announcement from Major League Baseball. It’s the second consecutive award for Hader, who took home NL honors in 2018 as well.

Chapman, 31, improved on last year’s All-Star campaign in 2019, nearly reaching a new career high with 37 saves and posting a 2.21 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 13.4 SO/9, and 2.0 fWAR across 57 innings. He’s the second Yankees reliever to take home the award since Andrew Miller earned the distinction in 2015. No AL pitcher — or team, for that matter — has received the award in consecutive years.

Hader, 25, is the second NL hurler with back-to-back Reliever of the Year awards since Kenley Jansen in 2016-2017. He delivered another All-Star performance in 2019, tossing 75 2/3 innings in relief with 37 saves and a 2.62 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 16.4 SO/9, and 2.3 fWAR.

Neither pitcher led their respective leagues in saves, ERA, or fWAR this year. AL runners-up included the Athletics’ Liam Hendricks (AL fWAR leader, with 3.8 Wins Above Replacement) and Astros’ Roberto Osuna (AL saves leader, with 38). NL runners-up included the Padres’ Kirby Yates and Giants’ Will Smith, the former of whom out-pitched NL relievers with 41 saves, a 1.19 ERA, and 3.4 fWAR.

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.