After recently being designated for assignment, veteran reliever Brad Brach has cleared waivers and been granted his outright release by the Chicago Cubs. And given how odious he was for the North Siders, it's kind of amazing that it took this long for the news to become official.
The club DFA'd Branch to make room for Cole Hamels, as the former World Series MVP returned from the injured list. No team was willing to touch Branch's current contract, which is needlessly complicated-- to say nothing of his problematic performances on the field.
The former MLB All-Star could not find his groove at Wrigley Field since joining the organization early in 2019, maintaining a 6.13 ERA with a 10.2 K/9 ratio and 6.4 BB/9 ratio over 39.2 innings pitched. This is not at all what the Cubs thought they were getting when they signed the guy. Let's take you back to a couple short weeks ago:
The New Jersey native had a terrific stint in the National League last year as a member of the Atlanta Braves after coming over from Baltimore, sporting a 1.52 ERA with a .237 OPP AVG and a 1.31 WHIP in 27 appearances on the mound. However, his performance would evidently not carry over across divisions.
His resume may warrant some looks from a few MLB franchises as they gear up for their respective postseason runs, but nothing is set in stone. His stock has tanked in 2019, and digging himself out of that hole will require a concerted effort.
For now, however, Cubs fans out to be rejoicing that the guy is finally out of town.