Braves reliever Carlos Torres opts out, becomes free agent

SARASOTA, Fla. – Carlos Torres opted out of his Braves minor-league contract and became a free agent Thursday, the latest of the assorted relief-pitching castoffs, non-roster invitees and prospects to exit as spring training grinds toward a conclusion.

Torres, 33, had a 4.00 ERA in eight spring appearances, allowing seven hits, five runs (four earned) and two homers in nine innings, with almost as many walks (five) as strikeouts (six). The right-hander allowed two hits, two runs and three walks in two innings over his past two outings.

A non-roster invitee to spring training, Torres had a clause in his contract that allowed him to opt out if he wasn’t going to be on the Braves’ opening-day roster. Since he wasn’t going to make the Braves’ roster he opted out to pursue a possible major league opportunity with another team.

If he doesn’t get one, Torres could come back and pitch for the Braves at Triple-A Gwinnett.

He had been a candidate for a long-relief job with Atlanta for much of the spring, but the Braves have other options to fill that role, led by whichever doesn’t make the rotation from the three vying for the last two starting spots: Williams Perez, Jhoulys Chacin and prospect John Gant. Chacin is more likely to be in the rotation than bullpen.

Torres made the trip Thursday with the Braves to Sarasota and was scheduled to pitch in an afternoon game against the Orioles, but the Braves announced shortly before the game that he had opted out of his contract and become a free agent.

Torres is 23-24 with a 4.26 ERA in 209 games (16 starts) in six major league seasons with three teams, including the past three seasons with the New York Mets. He had a 4.68 ERA in 59 innings in 2015.

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