Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that free agent pitcher Rich Hill underwent “primary and revision surgery” on his left elbow in late October and won’t be ready for the start of the 2020 season. Bradford says Hill is unlikely to return before June or maybe until the All-Star break
Hill, who will turn 40 early next year, dealt with a flexor strain during the 2019 campaign but still posted a 2.45 ERA over 13 starts with the Dodgers. When he felt good he was still effective. When he didn’t, he couldn’t go. Given that he wasn’t losing it when he could pitch, there will likely be some interest in Hill as a mid-season rotation upgrade despite the surgery.
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.