The Marlins announced the acquisition of infielder Jonathan Villar from the Orioles. In return, the Orioles will receive minor league pitcher Easton Lucas from the Marlins, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko.
Villar was placed on waivers by the Orioles last week. The 28-year-old 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.
Lucas, 23, was selected by the Marlins in the 14th round of the 2019 draft. Last year, in his first taste of professional baseball, Lucas posted a 3.63 ERA with 41 strikeouts and nine walks across 34 2/3 innings, all of three of which came with Low-A Batavia.
The Marlins also claimed first baseman Jesús Aguilar off of waivers from the Rays. Aguilar was designated for assignment last week. Between Villar and Aguilar, the Marlins have addressed the right side of their infield for at least the 2020 season.
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.