When word came across the wire that the Braves were re-signing reliever Chris Martin to a two-year, $14 million deal, my first reaction was: have the Braves made literally the only transactions so far this offseason?
Turns out the answer is no, but almost!
There was the Aroldis Chapman pre-emptive extension so he didn’t opt out, and the Adam Wainwright re-signing with the Cardinals. That is the entirety of the non-Braves offseason in baseball so far, which – for all the talk of things moving earlier this year – is pretty darn nuts on November 20.
As for the Braves, they retain Martin, who was one of the five best relievers on the market, after signing Will Smith, the best reliever on the market. They also re-signed Nick Markakis, Darren O’Day, and Tyler Flowers, leaving them with more than twice as many transactions this offseason as the other 29 teams combined. That’s wild.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 20, 2019
As for the relief market, an already spartan group has thinned at the top thanks to the Braves. The best arms available are now probably guys like Craig Stammen, Daniel Hudson, Will Harris … and Drew Pomeranz (please sign Drew Pomeranz, Cubs). There are also the outgoing Cubs relievers, including Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler, each of whom rate pretty high in the current class (which should tell you a lot), and are conceivable options to return to the Cubs, Kintzler perhaps more than Cishek.