Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres interviewed Clint Hurdle, hoping he would become the hitting coach under new manager Jayce Tingler. Hurdle considered the opportunity but ultimately decided to retire from baseball.
Hurdle, 62, was fired by the Pirates following a disappointing 2019 season in which his team went 69-92, the club’s worst finish since 2010. The Pirates’ 2019 season was mired in controversy with a litany of clubhouse issues as well as more than a handful of benches-clearing brawls.
The Pirates were successful under Hurdle, however, reaching the postseason in three consecutive seasons from 2013-15. They lost the 2013 NLDS to the eventual NL champion Cardinals in five games, then lost the NL Wild Card game in the following two years to the Giants and Cubs. Overall, in Hurdle’s nine seasons in Pittsburgh, the Pirates went 735-720 (.505).
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.