The Braves only made two substantial moves this offseason. The one that caught all the headlines was the blockbuster trade for Sean Murphy, which saw Atlanta trade away All-Star catcher William Contreras and several top pitching prospects. However, the more under-the-radar deal was one for the hard-throwing Joe Jimenez, who was acquired from the Tigers in exchange for Justyn-Henry Malloy.
I had high hopes for Malloy with the Braves after his breakout 2022 campaign on the farm, but Atlanta is a team in win-now mode. Prospects, even the better ones, should be moved for pieces that can help the club raise the Commissioner’s Trophy for the second time in three seasons. Jiménez will be a vital piece to the Braves relief core, and the team is hopeful he will be ready to go for Opening Day after needing offseason surgery for a lumbar spine strain.
#Braves bullpen newcomer Joe Jiménez ended up needing surgery for a lumbar spine strain that ended the righty's career-best season in late September with Detroit. It was a less-invasive procedure, and Jiménez is already in camp, throwing, and is expected to be ready Opening Day.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) February 16, 2023
I’ll admit; the beginning of the tweet had me concerned for a second, but the ending should make Braves fans much more comfortable.
Jiménez has had an entire offseason to recover from the injury, and more importantly, this is something the Braves were well aware of before the trade. They wouldn’t have agreed to the deal had they known he was going to miss a significant portion of the 2023 season. Unless there are setbacks, all signs point to Joe Jiménez being a member of the Braves bullpen come Opening Day.
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