Brad Brach reworks contract
As the winter progressed and the Red Sox continued to stay out of the free agent market, many fans started shifting their expectations from the big names like Craig Kimbrel, Adam Ottavino and David Robertson and started looking at the plethora of potentially cheap relievers who could help the roster, albeit with less upside. One of the most popular among those names, it seemed, was Brad Brach. Obviously, the Red Sox didn’t end up actually targeting any of those players, and Brach eventually signed on with the Cubs. It wasn’t an overly expensive deal, with the righty being guaranteed $4.35 million between his 2019 salary and a buyout on his 2020 team option. It took a long time for that deal to be announced, though, and Brach still has not appeared in a spring training game, so things seemed fishy. Apparently, there have been some physical issues and the two sides have reworked the original agreement. Brach is not taking less guaranteed money, being paid a base of $1.65 million with a $5 million team option for next year and a $1.35 million player option if that team option is declined. The righty doesn’t seem overly concerned about his health issues, though if it’s bad enough to rework an agreement it’s worth wondering how it will affect him. Still, the Cubs could be getting a steal here and the Red Sox may regret not going after him, small injury or no.
Clayon Kershaw may miss Opening Day
Speaking of injuries to pitchers, the Dodgers could be without their ace and future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to start the season. The lefty has been dealing with shoulder issues all spring, and Los Angeles isn’t going to push him to be ready early in the year. Obviously for them it is much more important that he is ready to go later in the year than at the start, as the Dodgers will be favorites in the NL West yet again. It’s been a jarring few years for Kershaw, who went on one of the best runs of any starting pitcher ever from 2009-2015. He’s still been very good since then, to be fair, but he hasn’t been able to pitch as often. Hopefully he’ll be back sooner than later, because baseball is more fun with Kershaw on the mound. Also, this would be the first time since 2010 the Dodgers have had anyone besides Kershaw as an Opening Day starter. That starter? Vicente Padilla.