Braves make pair of pitching moves amid Shohei Ohtani rumors

Pending deal as Atlanta in advance to sign the most …….

The Atlanta Braves made a pair of pitching moves amid a bevy of rumors, including that the team is in contention for Shohei Ohtani

The Atlanta brave signed RHP Penn Murfee and RHP Jackson Stephens to one-year, non-guaranteed split contracts for the 2024 season on Wednesday.

A split contract means the player would be paid at differing rates for time spent in the majors versus Triple-A. Both pitchers rejoin the Braves’ 40-man roster.

Murfee and Stephens were each dropped from the roster within the past few weeks. The Braves had cut Murfee at the non-tender deadline. Stephens hit the open market after going unclaimed on waivers.

Stephens, 29, has spent the past two seasons in the Braves organization. The righty logged more big-league action in 2022, when he turned in a 3.69 ERA through 53 2/3 innings pitched. He didn’t see as much time this past season, accumulating only 12 MLB innings over five appearances in September.

Stephens worked to a 3.28 ERA in 24 2/3 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Since he is out of minor league options, Stephens will have to open next season on the active roster or again be exposed to waivers.

The Braves had just claimed Murfee off waivers a few days before cutting him loose. The 29-year-old right hander has 80 games of major league experience, all of which were with the Seattle Mariners over the past two seasons. Using primarily a slider, Murfee has posted strong numbers. He has a 2.70 ERA in 83 1/3 innings, striking out nearly 28% of the hitters he’s faced.

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