On the same day the Braves introduced reliever Will Smith, they re-signed a member of their 2019 bullpen.
Chris Martin, the ground-ball specialist who joined the team at the trade deadline, re-signed with the Braves on a two-year, $14 million deal. He’ll be paid $7 million in both years of the deal.
The 33-year-old right-hander pitched in 58 games last season, posting a 3.40 ERA with a phenomenal 65:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 0.81 walks per nine innings were best among qualifying relievers.
Previously with the Rockies and Yankees, Martin spent two years in Japan (2015-17) before signing with his hometown Rangers, where he spent 2018 and the first half of last season.
Martin was brilliant for the Rangers before he was dealt to the Braves for young southpaw Kolby Allard. The control artist appeared in 20 games for the Braves, allowing eight runs in 17-2/3 innings and striking out 22 with only one walk.
In retaining Martin, the Braves strengthened their bullpen with another veteran. Martin, who notched four saves last season, joins Mark Melancon, Shane Greene and Smith as arms with closing experience.
The Braves are investing in their bullpen, as that foursome will cost over $40 million (pending Greene’s arbitration number, which is projected around $6.5 million).