Braves bolster bullpen, acquire Jiménez from Tigers

December 8th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- The Braves strengthened their bullpen by adding one of the American League’s top strikeout pitchers from this past season.

As the Winter Meetings came to a close on Wednesday, the Braves acquired Joe Jiménez and cash considerations from the Tigers in exchange for Minor League outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy and Minor League pitcher Jake Higginbotham.

Jiménez posted a 3.49 ERA and recorded 77 strikeouts while issuing just 13 walks over 56 2/3 innings (62 appearances) for the Tigers in 2022. The right-handed reliever’s 12.23 strikeouts per nine innings ranked fifth among AL pitchers who completed at least 50 innings. He struck out 33.3 percent of the batters he faced.

The 27-year-old reliever is coming off a breakout season. He posted a 5.06 ERA and struck out 28.6 percent of the batters he faced while producing a 10.3 percent walk rate over 211 appearances for Detroit from 2018-21.

“Joe is a very difficult person to trade. He's very popular in our clubhouse," Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris said. "He had an exceptional year for us. I think Atlanta's getting a great person." 

Malloy hit .289 with an .862 OPS while going from High-A to Triple-A this past season. The 22-year-old outfielder ranked as the Braves’ No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline. Higginbotham posted a 4.73 ERA at Double-A Mississippi this year.