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Rangers pitcher Adrian Sampson heads to Korea

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The Texas Rangers have released right-hander Adrian Sampson, in a move which allows him to pitch in South Korea. He’ll soon join the Lotte Giants, with whom he has been negotiating.

Sampson went 6-8 with a 5.89 ERA in 125.1 innings in swingman duties for Texas this past season, making 15 starts and 20 relief appearances. He was third on the club in innings pitched after Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. In all he has pitched in three seasons in the bigs, though all but six of his 41 games pitched came in 2019.

Sampson was unlikely to stay on the 40-man roster as the rebuilding Rangers, hopefully, improved over the next couple of years, and it was likely that he’d have to settle for a minor league deal to pitch in the United States in 2020. Signing to pitch in the KBO is, therefore, a smart financial move for him in the short run and, with success for Lotte, he could position himself for a second go-around in the bigs if he chooses to at some point down the line.

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.