MLB rumors: Braves make first offseason move, Cardinals left off Ohtani list, D-Backs could lose key

  • Braves' first move is to re-sign Joe Jimenez
  • D-Backs could lose Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to free agency
  • Cardinals left off list of Shohei Ohtani suitors

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Braves sign Joe Jimenez to three-year contract in first offseason move

Joe Jimenez spent the first six years of his career with the Detroit Tigers. Now, he's set to spend the next chunk with the Atlanta Braves.

Jimenez arrived in the ATL via trade before last season and he was quite effective in his first campaign with the team. He posted a 3.04 ERA and 1.154 WHIP, fanning 73 batters in 56.1 innings pitched (59 appearances). Now, the righty has a new three-year, $26 million contract to keep him around.

Jimenez, a one-time All-Star who will turn 29 before next season, has a 30.7 percent strikeout rate — that's 91st percentile in the MLB, per Baseball Savant. Factor in a high whiff rate (88th percentile) and a low walk rate (85th percentile), and it's not hard to understand the reason for keeping him around. The Braves need bullpen help, but it starts with keeping the competent arms in-house.

With three main pitches at his disposal — a rocking 95 MPH fastball, a slider, and a changeup — Jimenez will offer the Braves a consistent middle relief option during the 162-game regular-season marathon. He was scarcely involved in the Braves' all-too-short postseason run, but he's a factor on this team. He should live up to the contract without issue.