B.J. Upton claims Braves’ single-season strikeouts record


B.J. Upton’s second-inning strikeout against Phillies starter Jerome Williams marked number 172 on the season, breaking a tie with Dan Uggla for the Braves’ single-season record. His brother Justin, who has not struck out tonight as of this writing, has 169 strikeouts on the season.

It’s a feat of ignominy for B.J., whose Braves tenure has been less than ideal after signing a five-year, $75.25 million contract in November 2012. In two seasons in Atlanta entering tonight’s game, Upton has compiled a .197/.277/.310 slash line with 20 home runs, 60 RBI, and 32 stolen bases in 44 attempts across 1,020 plate appearances.

Among players to have compiled at least 1,000 plate appearances over the last two seasons, Upton’s -0.6 WAR (FanGraphs) ranks as the third-worst behind only Adeiny Hechavarria and Dayan Viciedo. Typically, players who provide so little value eventually lose out on their playing time, but the Braves are committed to playing him everyday due to the amount of money and years they committed to him.

Marlins sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year, $3.25 million deal

Brandon Kintzler
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Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.

The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.