The Braves have purchased Lawrence's contract from the Camden Riversharks of the Independent Atlantic League. General manager Frank Wren said that the 32-year-old right-hander will report to Triple-A Richmond.
Lawrence missed the 2006 season while recovering from right shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. After returning last year, he went 8-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A New Orleans. His success earned him six starts with the Mets, during which he went 1-2 with a 6.83 ERA.
The Braves are looking to provide as many options as possible for their starting rotation, and Lawrence at least could be a good gamble. His finest Major League season came in 2004, when he went 15-14 with a 4.12 ERA in 34 starts with the Padres. In 33 starts the following year, he went 7-15 with a 4.83 ERA.
Lawrence, who is 50-63 in 168 career appearances, signed a Minor League contract with the Royals in January and was released on March 27.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.