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Mets re-sign reliever Brach, designate Flexen

@AnthonyDiComo
December 7, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Mets’ late-season marriage with Brad Brach worked out well enough for both team and player to opt for a reunion. The parties agreed on Friday to a one-year, $850,000 deal, which includes a $1.25 million player option for 2021. To make room on the 40-man roster,

NEW YORK -- The Mets’ late-season marriage with Brad Brach worked out well enough for both team and player to opt for a reunion. The parties agreed on Friday to a one-year, $850,000 deal, which includes a $1.25 million player option for 2021. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated for assignment righty Chris Flexen.

A former standout setup man (and sometimes closer) for the Orioles and Braves, Brach was released by the Cubs last August after posting a 6.13 ERA in 42 appearances. After the Mets scooped him up, Brach pitched closer to his career norms in New York, submitting a 3.68 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings. To produce those numbers, Brach threw his mid-90s four-seam fastball far less often, relying instead on his cutter and changeup.

As a New Jersey native who grew up rooting for the Mets, Brach relished the chance to pitch in New York. Even as an active member of the Orioles, he attended Game 3 of the 2015 World Series as a fan. Brach became a free agent after this past season, but he maintained interest in a return.

The addition of Brach gives the Mets another middle-to-late-innings option in their bullpen. While the team doesn’t have a clear closer heading into the Winter Meetings, it also isn’t likely to acquire one. Either Edwin Díaz or Seth Lugo, or some combination of both, should fill that role. In addition, the Mets will bring back Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson, both of whom remain under guaranteed contract. Robert Gsellman remains a bullpen candidate as well, but the Mets will at least try him out in Spring Training.

Where Brach slots in will depend largely upon how he fares this spring. At the least, he figures to be a key part of new manager Carlos Beltrán’s bullpen.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.