Not much has happened on the free agent market yet this offseason but the Braves have now made two big signings of relievers. The first was Will Smith last week. Now they’ve locked up righty Chris Martin. Atlanta announced that it has signed him to a two-year, $14 million contract.
Martin, 33, posted a 3.40 ERA and a 65/5 K/BB ratio across 55.2 innings while splitting time between the Texas Rangers and the Braves.
It’s not yet Thanksgiving but Atlanta’s bullpen is looking close to 2020-ready, with Mark Melancon in the closer’s role, Smith and Martin setting up and Shane Greene and Sean Newcomb in front of them.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.