Cubs agree to terms with reliever Brad Brach on $4.35 million deal

SHARE Cubs agree to terms with reliever Brad Brach on $4.35 million deal

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach delivers during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Monday, May 21, 2018, in Chicago. The Orioles won 3-2. | Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

A slow-moving winter for the Cubs gained some traction Thursday when they added right-hander Brad Brach to their bullpen, helping fill one of the club’s top targeted needs of the offseason.

Brach, 32, agreed to a one-year, $4.35 million deal pending a physical, sources confirmed.

The deal pays $3 million in 2019, with a mutual option for 2020 that includes a $1.35 million buyout clause. It could grow to a two-year value of $9.5 million if the Cubs exercise their side of the option.

The Cubs have waited out the free-agent pitching market and explored trades in an effort to add two proven relievers while managing a payroll budget close to its ceiling.

Brach is the first, and insiders suggested nothing was close on a possible second bullpen arm.

The 2016 All-Star had a 1.52 ERA in 27 appearances for the Braves after being traded from the Orioles in July. He becomes an important late-inning insurance during the first month of the season with closer Brandon Morrow (elbow) expected to miss time in April.


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Brach, who turns 33 in April, has a 3.08 ERA in 424 career relief appearances for the Padres, Orioles and Braves, including stretches as the Orioles’ closer in 2017 and 2018, has held right-handers to a .209 average (.639 OPS) during his career.

He has averaged 67 appearances with a 2.83 ERA the last four seasons.

Brach is the highest-salaried (2019) player added this winter. Infielder Daniel Descalso signed a two-year, $5 million deal last month that pays $1.5 million in 2019.

Pitchers and catchers report for spring training Feb. 12.

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