3. Brad Brach finishes the year as one of the 10 best closers in baseball, and ends the year on a team that isn’t the Baltimore Orioles
Brad Brach is a really talented closer. I mean seriously, look at this changeup:
But you didn’t need me to tell you that, Orioles fans have seen it for awhile now. The reason Brach hasn’t really been able to shine is that he’s been blocked by Zach Britton (understandably). But when Brach has been filling in, he’s been excellent. In the first half of last season he was killing it, pitching to a 2.58 ERA and a .084 WHIP.
However, Brach hit a snag in the second-half with some control issues, though he still turned in a fairly respectable year. He’s got an excellent repertoire, and while Britton is out this year (which will be awhile), I expect Brach to perform very well as the team’s closer.
And given that Brach is a free agent after this year, I’d expect the Orioles to trade him to a closer-needy team at the trade deadline in July for prospects (or who knows what else). At that point, Britton will be back and the team won’t need Brach as much. If Brach is given a full-time closing gig, he could shine, and I think that could happen.