The Braves haven’t wasted much time in re-signing two critical bullpen arms before free agency even begins. Last week, Pierce Johnson inked a two-year deal to remain in Atlanta. This morning, it’s Joe Jimenez, who has signed a three-year contract with the Braves.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 2, 2023
Both Johnson and Jimenez were acquired via trade and turned into two of the most reliable relievers in the bullpen, making them priorities this offseason as they were set to hit free agency.
Joe Jimenez came over from the Tigers last offseason in the trade that sent Justyn-Henry Malloy to Detroit. It took a little while for Jimenez to look like himself following a back injury, but he was nothing short of dominant from June to the end of the season, recording a 2.37 ERA and 3.10 FIP while striking out 49 batters over 38 innings.
Heading into the offseason, the Braves looked to have a lot of holes in their bullpen, but two big ones have already been patched up by re-signing Pierce Johnson and Joe Jimenez. If Dylan Lee and Tyler Matzek can come back healthy in 2024, the Braves will have a solid foundation of relievers. However, it still might be in their best interest to continue to add arms this winter.
They’ll have a chance to do that over the next few days, as Kirby Yates and Collin McHugh both have club options for next season. We’ll see how these signings impact those decisions. My guess is they’ll let McHugh walk while retaining Yates.
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