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Yordan Álvarez named 2019 American League Rookie of the Year

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Astros OF/DH Yordan Álvarez was unanimously named the Rookie of the Year in the American League for the 2019 season by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is the 11th player to win the AL ROY Award unanimously, joining Carlton Fisk, Mark McGwire, Sandy Alomar Jr., Tim Salmon, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Evan Longoria, Mike Trout, José Abreu, and Aaron Judge.

Álvarez, 22, made his major league debut on June 9 and hit the ground running. Through the end of the season, he hit .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs and 78 RBI across 369 plate appearances. FanGraphs credited him with 3.8 WAR, the second-most among rookies and most among American League rookies.

Álvarez, who was the No. 41 prospect in baseball before the start of the season, is the first Astro to win the Rookie of the Year award since shortstop Carlos Correa in 2015. He is the third Astro ever to win it, as Jeff Bagwell also won it in 1991.

Orioles starter John Means finished in second place and Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe finished in third. Also receiving votes were Eloy Jiménez, Cavan Biggio, Luis Arraez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Oscar Mercado.

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.