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.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.