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Orioles place Jonathan Villar on waivers

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MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have placed 2B/SS Jonathan Villar on waivers. The club had been trying to trade Villar but came up unsuccessful. Now interested teams can claim him.

Villar, 28, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $4.825 million in 2019. He is coming off of a strong season in which he played in all 162 games, spent significant time at two middle infield positions, and hit .274/.339/.453 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 40 stolen bases across 714 plate appearances. Baseball Reference credited him with an even 4.0 Wins Above Replacement.

Villar is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $10.4 million in arbitration, which is why the Orioles have placed him on waivers. The rebuilding Orioles have a projected 2020 payroll of $73 million with the current roster. They appear destined for a fourth consecutive fifth-place finish in the AL East now that they have jettisoned their best position player.

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.