Giants: Who will replace All-Star Will Smith in the closer’s role?
Free-agent option No. 2: Brad Brach
Brad Brach is coming off a season where he posted a 5.47 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, his worst stat line since his abbreviated rookie season with the San Diego Padres in 2011.
Those are not the kind of numbers you want to see from anyone out of the bullpen, let alone your closer, but there was a glimmer of hope in last season’s folly.
After being released by the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 5, Brach joined the New York Mets and finished the season with a 2.67 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 16 appearances with his new team. A respectable rebound.
The 33-year-old has a 3.33 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 in 482 appearances over nine seasons, and he has recorded 33 saves along the way.
Taking over for an injured Zack Britton during his time with the Baltimore Orioles, he saved 30 games in a season-and-a-half in the closer’s role between 2017 and 2018, so he can certainly do the job.
While he doesn’t represent a top-of-the-line closer, Brach could provide some competition for the in-house options and he should come at a relatively low cost after last season’s struggles.