Shortly after the Braves formally introduced lefty reliever Will Smith at SunTrust Park on Tuesday, the club further bolstered its bullpen by signing right-hander Chris Martin to a two-year, $14 million deal.
Martin will return to the Braves after being one of three relievers acquired by Atlanta at this past season's Trade Deadline. Though the Braves explored the possibility of acquiring Smith at the Deadline, they instead made moves to add Martin, Mark Melancon and Shane Greene.
Martin had a 4.08 ERA in 20 appearances down the stretch with Atlanta, though he racked up 22 strikeouts to just one walk over 17 2/3 innings. He departed Game 1 of the National League Division Series before throwing a pitch due to an oblique strain sustained during warmups.
The 33-year-old had a 3.40 overall ERA with the Rangers and Braves last season, while posting an incredible 13:1 strikeouts-to-walk ratio. Martin became one of just six pitchers in the Modern Era (since 1900) to have a strikeouts-to-walk ratio of at least 13:1 with a minimum of 50 innings pitched, joining Kenley Jansen (2017), Clayton Kershaw ('16), Andrew Miller ('16), Evan Scribner ('15) and Dennis Eckersley (1989 and '90).
With Martin back in tow, the Braves' 2020 bullpen seems to be coming into focus. The trio of Martin, Melancon and Greene will be joined by the newly acquired Smith, while Luke Jackson will look to rediscover the success he had early in '19. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Tuesday that Sean Newcomb will be stretched out entering next season, but the lefty remains an option to pitch out of the bullpen following his emergence as a reliever last season.