Braves acquire J.P. Martinez from Rangers

Braves acquire J.P. Martinez from Rangers

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves added outfield depth on Friday by acquiring J.P. Martínez from the Texas Rangers for right-hander Tyler Owens.

The 27-year-old Martínez made his major league debut for the World Series champion Rangers last season. In 17 games and 44 plate appearances, the left-handed batter hit .225 with one homer and four RBIs.

The Cuban native spent most of 2023 in the minors, batting .297 with 14 homers, 60 RBIs and 41 stolen bases across three leagues. He gives the Braves another much-needed position player on their 40-man roster and is expected to compete for a bench job in spring training.

The 23-year-old Owens has spent four seasons in Atlanta’s minor league system, reaching Double-A Mississippi last season. He has a record of 5-15 with a 4.37 over 77 professional appearances.

Rangers sign pair, but Garcia still unsigned

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The World Series champion Texas Rangers finalized deals Friday with veteran reliever David Robertson and outfielder Travis Jankowski, but still have no agreement with AL Championship Series MVP Adolis García in advance of salary arbitration hearings.

Robertson will get $10 million in 2024 and has a mutual option for $7 million in 2025 that includes a $1.5 million buyout. The speedy and versatile Jankowski, who led the Rangers last season with 19 stolen bases, got a one-year deal for $1.7 million.

García was the only of eight Rangers eligible for salary arbitration who didn’t reach a deal with the team two weeks ago. The two-time All-Star slugger, who set an MLB postseason record with 22 RBIs last fall, requested $6.9 million and Texas offered $5 million. That was the widest gap among the 23 players around the league who exchanged salary proposals with their teams.

“Everybody knows the situation we’re in. Right now, we’re waiting on the hearing that’s coming, and everything’s been the same as of right now,” García said through a translator before the team’s annual awards dinner Friday night.

General manager Chris Young said there has been good dialogue with García and his representatives, and described being “very encouraged by the back and forth.”

Robertson’s deal was finalized after he completed a physical. He has pitched for five teams since coming back from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and much of 2021. He made 120 appearances over the past two seasons.

WHITE SOX: Right-hander John Brebbia and Chicago finalized a $5.5 million, one-year contract that includes a mutual option for 2025. The 33-year-old gets $4 million this year, and the option is for $6 million with a $1.5 million buyout. Brebbia can earn $1 million annually in performance bonuses for games. Brebbia was 3-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 40 appearances and 10 starts for San Francisco last season. He was sidelined from mid-June until early September because of a strained right lat. He is 15-15 with a 3.42 ERA in six seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco.

CUBS: Chicago right-hander Mathew Peters was suspended for the 2024 season under the minor league drug program following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. Peters tested positive for the steroid known as Oral Turinabol. The 23-year-old signed for a $125,000 bonus in 2022 from the Indiana Institute of Technology.

TWINS: Minnesota has had as quiet of an offseason as any club in the major leagues. A major factor is the uncertainty around their regional broadcast revenue with the parent company for the Bally Sports networks in bankruptcy. Wariness about the situation has prompted a reduction in player salary costs after the Twins fielded a team-record $156 million payroll in 2023.