May 30, 2024

After a wild ride, wherein the Braves claimed him off waivers on November 14 only to have him non-tendered three days later, Penn Murfee is back in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Braves have added right-handers Penn Murfee and Jackson Stephens to their bullpen, bolstering their depth for the 2024 campaign.

They gave both pitchers one-year, non-guaranteed split contracts, strengthening their relief corps and giving them important organisational depth and insurance.

The 29-year-old right-hander has 83.1 big-league innings under his belt with a 2.70 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. He had elbow surgery in June to repair a torn UCL.

Murfee’s prior performances, particularly in the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, demonstrated his potential as a valuable relief arm, even though his surgery puts him at risk of missing the entire 2024 season.

In his third season back with the Atlanta Braves, Jackson Stephens offers reliability and expertise in the bullpen. With a 3.69 ERA in 39 games, the 29-year-old right-hander was only able to play in five major league games in 2022.

Jackson Stephens and Penn Murfee signed separate contracts.

With two salaries—one for time spent in the minors and another for time spent in the majors—the split contracts for Stephens and Murfee provide flexibility. If a player has a split contract, their pay may vary based on whether they participate in the major or minor leagues.

Even with the difficulties posed by surgeries and injuries, both relievers are expected to contribute to the depth of the Braves bullpen when they are well, giving the relief corps options and support.

The Braves’ MLB offseason actions clearly reflect their focus on strengthening their bullpen. These consist of the re-signing of Joe Jimenez and Pierce Johnson, the trade-in of Aaron Bummer and Jackson Kowar, and the free-agent signing of Reynaldo Lopez.

The Braves have added two valuable pieces to their pitching arsenal with the addition of Murfee and Stephens, who will add experience and potential to the bullpen mix as they continue to assemble their roster for the upcoming season.

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