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Braves bring back reliever Jackson Stephens on one-year deal

Stephens threw important innings for the club down the stretch.

MLB: NLDS-Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have signed right handed reliever Jackson Stephens to a one-year, non-guaranteed split contract for the 2023 season, the club announced Monday evening. The signing gives Atlanta a full 40-man roster.

Stephens will make $740,000 if he’s on the big league roster, reports Justin Toscano of the AJC.

Stephens, 28, worked himself into a nice role with the Braves’ 2022 bullpen, tossing important innings down the stretch as they wrapped up their fifth NL East title in a row. He posted a 3.69 ERA, 3.54 FIP and 4.06 xFIP over 53 innings and 36 appearances. His versatility and ability to work multiple innings proved valuable for Brian Snitker, especially in blowouts and extra inning affairs.

Stephens was designated for assignment by Atlanta in early November, but clearly there was interest from both sides to reunite.

Assuming he can win a roster spot in the spring, Stephens figures to have a low-leverage role in the bullpen once again in 2023. The Braves’ bullpen projects to be one of the best in the game; Raisel Iglesias, who was terrific after the mid-season trade, projects to be the club’s closer as A.J. Minter, Collin McHugh, Dylan Lee and recently-acquired Joe Jimenez work to get the ball to him in the ninth.

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