BRAVES BULLPEN HAS THE LOOK OF A WINNER!

Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Alex Anthopoulos (left) and left-handed pitcher Will Smith, who just signed a three-year $39 million contract with a one year club option, take questions during a press conference introducing Smith at SunTrust Park on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

BUCK BELUE
ATLANTA, Ga – It’s sort of like Christmas come early for the Braves this November! Alex Anthopoulos has wasted no time in solidifying the 2020 bullpen. It’s got the look of a winner already.

Yesterday, it was Will Smith coming back home to play for a winner. And today, the news was Chris Martin coming back for more, with a two-year deal. It’s been a good week.

The Braves General Manager also provided some insight to how things will shake out this spring, on The Fan’s Chuck & Chernov Show. Mark Melancon is expected to maintain the closer role (he was 11-11 LS). Will Smith gets the ball with the lead in the 8th inning. It sounds like the plan is to have Shane Greene will be back pitching the late innings. O’Day will return as a situational shutdown guy. Martin will be a set-up guy, bringing the heat.

With the lead and the game going to the late innings, the Braves are set up for success. I like the fact that Anthopoulos values a deep and talented bullpen, as we head into the 2020 season. Starters are going fewer innings these days, so it makes sense to stockpile quality arms in the ‘pen. Good job, Alex!

And good luck the rest of the offseason! Just a reminder, but we need a quality, veteran, top of the rotation starter on this year’s Wish List. Plus, another middle of the line-up bat that can play 3rd base or a corner outfield spot.

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