8:15am: The Braves have confirmed the move via press release.
On Saturday, Bowman indicated that Russell could be released due to his struggles this spring. Meanwhile, Luis Avilan has impressed in recent weeks as Russell faltered and prospect Brady Feigl could also be in line to take his spot on the roster. Bowman also listed Josh Outman as a lefty reliever that could be in trouble, but his future is not immediately clear in the wake of Russell’s release.
Russell and the Braves avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.425MM contract back in January. The 29-year-old posted a combined 2.97 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 57 2/3 innings between Chicago and Atlanta in 2014.
The Braves acquired Russell and utilityman Emilio Bonifacio from the Cubs at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for minor league catcher Victor Caratini and about $1MM in cash. At that time, Russell had a 3.51 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and a career-best 40.9 percent ground-ball rate, though he was dealing with significant command issues. Russell was viewed by some as a non-tender candidate this winter but the Braves elected to retain him at his reasonable ~$2.4MM price tag.