Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Astros have signed Yuli Gurriel to a one-year, $8.3 million deal.
Gurriel was eligible for arbitration on an opt-in basis if this deal had not been reached. He is able to declare free agency at the end of the 2020 season pursuant to the five-year deal he originally signed with Houston after defecting from the Cuban national team in 2016.
Gurriel, 35, hit .298/.343/.541 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI in 2019.
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.