Mets designate reliever Brad Brach for assignment to make room for Jonathan VIllar

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Alex Smith
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Brad Brach pitching for Mets in 2019 07152020
Brad Brach pitching for Mets in 2019 07152020

The Mets officially announced the addition of free agent utility man Jonathan Villar on Thursday evening, but the corresponding move was a bit of a surprising one.

To make room for Villar on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated reliever Brad Brach for assignment.

The 34-year-old right-handed reliever originally signed with the Mets in August 2019, providing some much needed bullpen depth. In 16 games with the Mets that year, Brach, a Freehold, N.J. native, posted a 3.68 ERA and 2.67 FIP for a bullpen that struggled as a whole.

The 2020 season was a different story for Brach, though. He missed all of Mets summer camp after a positive COVID test, returning to the team after the regular season had already begun. He still pitched in 14 games with the Mets last season, but pitched to a 5.84 ERA with 14 strikeouts and 14 walks in 12. Innings.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise, since the veteran Brach has been solid over the course of his 10-year career, posting a 3.39 ERA in 496 career regular-season games.

Even with the additions of Trevor May and Aaron Loup, the Mets’ bullpen is still a bit of a question mark, especially when considering that the team is looking to move the contracts of Dellin Betances and Jeurys Familia in order to better spend that money on other starters or relievers, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.

Brach was used more situationally and likely wouldn’t have been a backend, high-leverage reliever like May, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo or even Miguel Castro. Now, the veteran will likely be headed for sixth different team.