Brach signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Cubs on Thursday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports. The deal also includes a mutual option. Brach spent time with the Orioles and Braves in 2018, posting a combined 3.59 ERA and 8.6 K/9 across 62.2 innings of relief. The right-hander should slide into a setup role with the Cubs, though he could be used as a righty specialist given Chicago's bullpen depth and Brach's splits last season (.692 OPS against righties, .838 OPS against lefties).
Brach allowed one walk and struck out a batter to turn in a scoreless 10th inning and record the save Thursday against the Diamondbacks. Brach entered the game in the 10th inning after Jesse Biddle allowed the Diamondbacks to tie the game in the ninth. Both Dan Winkler and A.J. Minter were roughed up on Wednesday and presumably unavailable Thursday, allowing Brach to fill the void and record his first save as a Brave. Assuming Winkler and Minter bounce back, however, it doesn't appear that Brach will be in line for many more save chances before the season comes to a close.
Brach allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth inning Monday to pick up his fourth hold of the season in a win over the Marlins. The right-hander worked as a setup man for A.J. Minter in his first appearance since being traded to the Braves from the Orioles, and that will likely be Brach's role moving forward, especially once Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) returns to action. Brach now has a 4.72 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and 38:19 K:BB in 40 innings on the year.
The Braves acquired Brach from the Orioles on Sunday in exchange for international signing bonus slot money, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Atlanta was in the market for relief help with closer Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) on the disabled list and it appears the team identified a target in Brach. The 32-year-old has registered 29 saves between the past two seasons and has a long track record of reliability as a setup man, but he hasn't been quite as sharp in 2018, pitching to a 4.85 ERA and 38:19 K:BB in 39 innings. Even so, Brach's experience at the back of the bullpen could be enough to threaten A.J. Minter's status as the top option for saves.
Brach allowed two hits and an unearned run while securing his 11th save of the season against the Red Sox on Tuesday. He issued one walk and did not strike out a batter. Zach Britton had yet to be officially shipped out -- a trade with the Yankees was announced following the game -- but this was Brach's de facto first game as the Orioles' new closer. With Britton gone and Darren O'Day (hamstring) done for the season, Brach figures to be the top option for saves in Baltimore. The 32-year-old has had his fair share of struggles this year with a 4.85 ERA and 1.77 WHIP across 39 innings, though his peripherals are more favorable.