The Detroit Tigers have joined the winter meetings wheeling and dealing, sending right-handed reliever Joe Jimenez to the Atlanta Braves for minor league reliever Jake Higginbotham and outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy.
Jimenez, 27, was once the crown jewel of the Tigers’ minor league system. He was called up in 2017 and after making the All-Star Game the following season, experienced some ups and downs and seemed to be on the fringes of the roster.
But last season was his best as a major leaguer, recording career-bests in ERA (3.49), WHIP (1.094) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.92).
Jimenez is a free agent after the 2023 season.
Malloy, 22, was a sixth-round pick of the Braves in 2021 out of Georgia Institute of Technology but started his college career at powerhouse Vanderbilt. Last season, the right-handed-hitter played at High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, batting .289 with an .862 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 17 home runs and 81 RBIs. With Triple-A Gwinnett, he hit .280 in just eight games. He has played mostly the outfield and third base as a professional.
Malloy was listed 11th on the Braves’ top prospect list compiled by MLBPipeline.
Higginbotham, 26, was an 11th round pick by Atlanta in 2018 after his college career at Clemson. The left-hander spent all of last season in Double-A Mississippi, going 2-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 48 appearances, all out of the bullpen. He had a 1.500 WHIP and a 2.67 strikeout-to-walk rate.
Come back to freep.com for more on this developing story.