The Braves have been big spenders so far this offseason, and it doesn’t look like they are quite done yet. One of the guys they brought back was Chris Martin, who will serve in a late relief role, on a two-year, $14 million deal.
Martin posted a 1.5 bWAR last season with Texas and Atlanta. As a Brave, he had a 4.08 ERA, but his peripherals stick out much more. His FIP was 1.63, which suggest he was subject to some egregious luck, and he only gave up 0.5 HR/9 innings and 0.5 BB/9 innings, while striking out over eleven batters per nine. His presence, along with Will Smith, Mark Melancon, and Shane Greene, gives the Braves perhaps the deepest bullpen in baseball entering 2020 – a far cry from where this unit was this time last year – when Arodys Vizcaino and A.J. Minter were scheduled to be the closers.
In a recent interview with MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, Martin talked about why he decided to return to Atlanta. More than anything, it came down to unfinished business. “The biggest thing is just seeing how good this team is and how great the clubhouse is,” Martin said. “There’s a lot of unfinished business. Hopefully we run into the Cardinals again next year and get a little revenge on them.”
That seems to be a common theme with all the Braves’ free-agent acquisitions. Everybody is attracted to this organization because they recognize the direction it is heading. Atlanta is littered with talented youth throughout their roster. They are back-to-back NL East champs and won 97 games a year ago. Had they not run into the injury bug late last season, who knows what might have happened, but we do know what the outlook is going forward – more division titles and with that comes the opportunity to capture a World Series. Atlanta has a sour taste in their mouths, and they are antsy to make amends.