The Nationals and infielder Wilmer Difo avoided arbitration on Sunday, agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract for the 2020 season, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports. Difo is in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Difo, 27, posted a light .628 OPS across 144 trips to the plate during the regular season, but provided value with his versatility as he played second and third base as well as shortstop, where he spent a majority of his playing time. Difo will hope to reprise his role as a backup for the reigning world champion Nationals.
The deadline for teams to come to an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players is 8 PM ET on Monday.
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.