Braves bring back Jiménez on 3-year, $26 million deal
ATLANTA — As the wee hours of the offseason’s first day kicked off, the Braves crossed another name off their offseason wish list.
Joe Jiménez and the Braves agreed to a three-year, $26 million contract. The deal was announced Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after the 2023 season closed with the Rangers winning their first World Series.
Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos has already restocked his bullpen by re-signing both Jiménez and Pierce Johnson, who signed a two-year, $14.25 million deal last week. Both right-handers were key high-leverage options within Atlanta’s bullpen over the season’s final couple month
Jiménez posted a 3.04 ERA over 59 appearances (56 1/3 innings) this year. The 28-year-old hurler was acquired from the Tigers last December. He underwent back surgery to fix a lumbar spine strain over the winter. Consequently, he battled inconsistency during the first couple months of the 2023 season.
The veteran reliever posted a 4.42 ERA and allowed opponents to produce a .826 OPS over 20 appearances through the end of May. But he produced a 2.37 ERA as opponents tallied a .635 OPS against him over 39 appearances he made from June through the end of the regular season.
Jiménez will make $8 million in 2024 and then $9 million during both of the final two seasons of this deal.
Closer Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter, Jiménez, Johnson, Nick Anderson, Ben Heller, Daysbel Hernández, Tyler Matzek, Dylan Lee, Jackson Stephens and Michael Tonkin currently stand as internal bullpen candidates for 2024.
The Braves’ other free agent relievers include Jesse Chavez, Kirby Yates, Brad Hand and Collin McHugh. Yates, Hand and McHugh each have a club option that would need to be exercised by Monday.