September 25, 2021

The Braves Are Taking This Seriously (FanGraphs)

If re-signing Darren O’Day (on November 8) and then signing Will Smith (on November 15) wasn’t enough to persuade you that the Atlanta Braves are determined to ensure that a middling bullpen doesn’t hold them back in next year’s NL East competition, yesterday’s agreement with 33-year-old Chris Martin should be enough evidence to convince you that Alex Anthopoulos is taking 2020 seriously.

In one sense, it’s not a great sign for Atlanta that Anthopoulos feels he has to spend this heavily on his bullpen, rather than taking a run at a front-line starting pitcher to pair with Mike Soroka, or another big bat to help put an already-strong offense over the top (their .332 wOBA last year was third-best in the National League but behind both Los Angeles and, perhaps more importantly, Washington).

Signing Martin for two years and $14 million, as the Braves have just done, puts the 2020 Atlanta payroll at an estimated $119 million, which despite ranking solidly in the bottom third of National League clubs, is right around the upper limit of what ownership has been comfortable spending in recent years. Ideally, at least from a payroll perspective, a few more of the…

Click here to read the whole article at FanGraphs