While the Reds didn’t make a formal announcement, they inked veteran right-hander Brad Brach to a minor league contract earlier this week. Brach, a client of Big League Management, was listed as part of the Opening Day roster at Triple-A Louisville and pitched a scoreless frame of relief for the Bats last night (two strikeouts, one walk).
The 35-year-old righty spent Spring Training with the Royals and was selected to their MLB roster last month, but Kansas City designated him for assignment before he got into a game. Brach opted for free agency upon clearing waivers, which led to his new agreement with Cincinnati.
Though Brach struggled with the Mets through 12 1/3 frames last season, he brings to the Reds organization a lengthy track record of solid, late-inning relief work. He was an understated contributor to a pair of very good Orioles clubs in 2014-15 and gave the O’s a 2.99 ERA in parts of five seasons from ’14-’18. Brach notched a sub-4.00 ERA each year from 2012-18, striking out just north of a quarter of his opponents along the way. Walks were an issue at times (10.3 percent overall), but he logged a tidy 3.05 ERA through 449 innings and made an All-Star team during that seven-year peak.
It remains to be seen whether Brach can bounce back from a rough couple of seasons in 2019-20. His velocity dipped quite a bit last year, although he’d hardly be the only pitcher who suffered from a short build-up to the 60-game schedule in that regard. On a minor league deal for a Reds club that currently has setup man Michael Lorenzen on the 60-day IL due to shoulder concerns, Brach makes for a sensible roll of the dice.