This day in Braves history: Atlanta signs veteran pitcher to minor league deal

One of Atlanta's most impactful free agent signings during the 2019 offseason took place on this day, March 21.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

An offseason that was headlined by signing third baseman Josh Donaldson, the Atlanta Braves made yet another impactful free agent move on this day, March 21, back in 2019, when the club signed pitcher Josh Tomlin to a minor league deal.

Atlanta Braves sign Josh Tomlin to minor league deal

At the time, this was likely not the splashiest free agent signing for the Atlanta Braves. The reason was Tomlin's lackluster performance in 2018.

A veteran right-hander who had spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career in Cleveland, Tomlin was coming off a down 2018 campaign that saw the pitcher move from the starting rotation to more of a bullpen role. In all, Tomlin made 32 appearances in 2018, nine of which were starts, to post a 2-5 record with a 6.14 ERA and 46:12 K/BB ratio across 70.1 innings pitched. He elected free agency at season's end.

Josh Tomlin would go on to sign a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers early on in the 2018-19 offseason but would fail to make their Opening Day roster. Instead, Tomlin then was released, and later signed a minor league deal with Atlanta on March 21, with whom he would begin the year in the major leagues.

The veteran would go on to make 51 appearances for Atlanta in 2019, only one of which was a start. Across that season, Tomlin certainly had a bounce-back campaign, as he owned a 2-1 record with a 3.74 ERA and 51:7 K/BB ratio across 79.1 innings. Tomlin had the lone two saves of his MLB career that year, as well as having pitched 3.2 scoreless innings during the 2019 NLDS.

He was also the pitcher on the mound when the Braves clinched the NL East for a second consecutive season. Atlanta would go on to win 4 more division titles after this.

Tomlin would also go on to pitch for two more seasons with the Braves in 2020 and 2021, which were the final two years of his 12-year MLB career. The right-hander concluded his time in Atlanta with 103 career appearances, six of which were starts, along with an 8-3 record, a 4.81 ERA, and a 124:20 K/BB ratio across 168.1 innings pitched.

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