Braves Release James Russell

In a rather surprising move, the Braves cut one of their best relievers from last season in James Russell. The lefty was acquired in a trade alongisde Emilio Bonifacio from the Cubs for catcher prospect Victor Caratini. The trade looks pretty bad now considering the organization has cut ties with both players after a half season. Russell finished the season with a 2.22 ERA in 22 games after the trade. Though he gave up 9 earned runs in 3 appearances this spring, it’s still quite bizarre that the Braves cut ties with him so quickly after resigning him. I’m also pretty surprised that the Braves couldn’t find a suitor for him. It should be noted that Russell is a strange case, as he is a lefty that is actually better against righty hitters. Lefties hit .284 off while righties hit .165 off him. This move likely indicates they plan on going forward with Luis Avilan and Josh Outman taking care of lefty hitters. However, bullpen spots are now up for grabs in Atlanta.



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