LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Instead of waiting to see if James Russell could turn things around during the final week of Spring Training, the Braves gave the veteran left-hander his unconditional release on Sunday morning.
Because Russell is still arbitration-eligible, the Braves will have to pay him $606,250 -- 45 days' worth of the $2.4 million salary that he agreed to via the arbitration process in January. The club's willingness to eat this money developed as the southpaw labored through two of his three Grapefruit League appearances and provided indication that he might extend the struggles he had against left-handed hitters last year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.