With the trade deadline nearing, yet another domino has dropped. This time, it involves Texas Rangers relief pitcher Chris Martin, who is on the move to Atlanta in exchange for Braves prospect Kolby Allard.
First reported by Ken Rosenthal, the deal exchanges pitchers as the Braves look to remain on top of the NL East, and the Rangers look toward the future.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2019
Texas Rangers Trade Chris Martin to Atlanta Braves
What the Rangers Get
The Texas Rangers end of the deal means the addition of Kolby Allard, a former 2015 first-round draft pick. Allard has made a strong push through the minor league ranks in just five short years.
From day one, Allard possessed a lot of potential and he has put that on display. Despite his slight major league stumbles, he has shown his worth in the minors. The prospect has boasted a K/9 rate of at least 7.1 in each minor league season, as well as a strikeout rate of 19 percent.
His major league time is a small sample size, and with his age, there’s plenty of time to overcome the big league obstacles. Allard has leaned pretty heavily on his fastball, cutter, and changeup — pitches he’s utilized over 20 percent of the time.
The Rangers are hoping that they will get the same production that the 21-year-old produced for Triple-A Gwinnett back in 2018.
What the Braves Get
For the Braves, they are looking to address a slight issue. While their bullpen hasn’t been a massive problem, things need to change if they want to make a World Series run. Atlanta’s bullpen to date has earned a -0.1 WAR — sixth-worst in MLB. The addition of Martin looks to improve their already solid K/9 rate of 9.42. This comes in the midst of a season where the 33-year-old is boasting a K/9 rate of 10.18.
The strikeout aspect was definitely one thing that caught Atlanta’s eyes. Over the past two seasons, Martin has posted 80 strikeouts with just 13 walks over 72 innings pitched. This season alone Martin has struck out 43 batters with only four walks. That could all be utilized in a possible closer situation, something that’s been a bit of a sore lately for Atlanta.
Luke Jackson (the Braves current closer), already has 7 blown saves under his belt, one of the worst marks of contending teams. Martin could be a slight remedy for that. He has four saves, 12 holds, and just one blown save on the year. While Martin hasn’t established himself as a high-leverage pitcher, it seems as though late-inning, possibly closing duties will be in the works for him as a Brave.
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