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Pirates hire Derek Shelton to be their new manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates’ search for a manager is over: they have hired Derek Shelton.

Shelton, 49, was the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins the past two seasons. In 2017 he was the quality control coach of the Blue Jays. Before that he was the Rays’ hitting coach from 2010 to 2016 and before that he was the hitting coach of the Indians, holding that job from 2005 until 2009.

Shelton replaces Clint Hurdle, who managed the Pirates for nine seasons. And he steps into a team with a new general manager and team president, at the early stages of a rebuild.

Good luck, Derek!

 

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.