Scott Boras says teams are more eager to talk about free agents this year

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Last year was the slowest offseason, free agent signing-wise, since the days of collusion in the 1980s. Agent Scott Boras suggested at the general manager meetings yesterday, however, that a thaw may be coming for the frozen hot stove:

“Clubs are wanting meetings and wanting to get in front of the players. They’re all telling me they want to make much earlier decisions. I did not hear any of that last year . . . “I think all of [his top clients] have the possibility of signing much earlier than that.”

He didn’t talk too much about why there has been a change in this regard — and no non-Boras agents have observed what he has, it seems — but one might think that the quality of Boras’ free agents this year — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg lead his stable of talent looking for new teams — has something to do with it. Last year he had Bryce Harper, who was obviously a blue-chipper, but he didn’t have a top pitcher like Cole and Strasburg. It could very well be that teams are more eager to move quickly on pitching talent.

We’ll see soon enough whether this is just a sense Boras has or whether teams actually will, in fact, move more quickly this hot stove season.

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.