The Angels have announced that the organization hired Tony La Russa as a special assistant in baseball operations.
La Russa, 75, had been the vice president and a special assistant to the president of baseball operations with the Red Sox for the past two years. From May 2014 to November 2017, La Russa was the chief baseball officer and, later, the chief baseball analyst with the Diamondbacks.
La Russa was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2014 — along with Bobby Cox and Joe Torre — for his storied career as a manager. He won three championships: one with the Athletics in 1989 and two with the Caridnals in 2006 and 2011. He has the third-most wins all time by a manager (2,728) behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763).
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.