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 Chicago Cubs have signed reliever Jeremy Jeffress to a one-year, $850,000 deal.
While Jeffress is coming off a bad year — due mostly to hip and shoulder problems — this is a surprisingly low figure for Jeffress, who was said to have had a “sizable market” last September, with the Mets, Phillies, Reds, and Rays all rumored to be in on him. It’s also worth noting that he is just a year removed from an excellent 1.29 ERA season with the Brewers. He is reported to be eligible for $200,000 in incentives, which could bring this deal closer to what a reliever of his caliber’s going rate might be.
As for the Cubs, they haven’t been particularly active this offseason — indeed, this is their first free agent acquisition — but I suppose we should give them credit for buying low on a guy who should probably be able to help their bullpen.