The Braves have struck a minor league deal with lefty Alex Torres, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports on Twitter. He’ll receive an invitation to big league training camp this spring.
Torres just turned 28 in December and has seen fairly consistent time in the big leagues over the past three years. But he was designated for assignment by the Mets last August.
At the surface, that was a puzzling move for New York, which had acquired Torres over the prior winter and received 34 1/3 innings of 3.15 ERA pitching with 35 strikeouts. But a closer look revealed the obvious cause: Torres also permitted 26 free passes in that span and was ineffective against opposing lefties, who touched him for a .268/.406/.393 batting line.
Atlanta will hope that Torres can return to the form he showed over 2013-14. While he was still wild at times — especially in the latter season — he did put up 112 innings of 2.49 ERA pitching while posting 9.1 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9.
The route back isn’t immediately clear. Torres hit the strike zone with just 41.0% of his pitches in 2015, but that was actually up from his 2014 campaign. The biggest issue, it seems, was a drop in his swinging strike rate — from nearly 13% in the prior two years to 9.2% — that occurred as batters made more frequent contact while chasing less of his offerings outside of the zone.
If the Braves and Torres can figure things out, there’s some potential future upside for the team — and not just through the possibility of a mid-season flip. Torres will enter the year with just 2.095 days of service, meaning he could be controlled for up to three more seasons via arbitration.
had no idea he was a free agent
As a Braves fan I’m inclined to think “another pitcher…” But this is a solid move. A Minors deal is surprising considering his track record, and is/could be a real bargain for the Braves. I guess nobody really wanted to look at that funny hat…
My thoughts exactly, and we all know the track record of McDowell and the Braves unsung hero in bullpen coach Eddie Perez!!
Both of those guys have worked with countless guys whom they have turned around and/or revitalized their careers. They are known for taking guys with solid stuff, yet questionable command, and making them formidable and sometimes electric options out of the pen….
Look at their full body of work with Kimbrel harnessing his command, Jason Grilli, Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty, David Carpenter, Jim Johnson, Peter Moylan, Arodys Vizcaino, Chasen Shreve, Anthony Varvaro, Luis Ayala, Christain Martinez, Jordan Walden, George Sherrill, Jesse Chavez, Mike Dunn, Kyle Farnsworth, and even Takashi Saito….
All of these guys, since 2010, McDowell and/or Perez have helped greatly either forward or revitalize their careers….
Hopefully this year McDowell and Perez can work their magic with each of Torres, Ogando, Johnson, Grilli, Carpenter, Krol, Winkler, Withrow, and Rutckyj and help each of these guys find their way back to success at the Major League level…If there is any duo in baseball I trust to get the job done it is McDowell and Perez…
Also, McDowell has year after year revitalized several starting pitchers’ careers, so I would not be the least bit suprised to see a guy like Casey Kelly, J. Chacin, or Bud Norris have a bounce back campaign…
Now, that the Braves seem to have a great core of pitching coaches, and Seitzer seems okay, (maybe Chipper takes over come 2017)…And their talent is growing in the minor leagues …the future is definitely bright…If only the Braves could get a new manager… (sigh) lol
Sorry Braves fans. He’s a lefty that’s better against righties and should othe called upon with runners on. He is seriously capable of blowing 2-3 run leads with walks. I promise he will drive you so crazy you guys are gonna want to tomahawk the stupid hat off his head
Same here. Wouldn’t have minded having him on the 714 team.
I agree, he is an outstanding signing. I am not sure that I would offer the Spring Training invite. Need to have him work on a few things, but the potential is clearly there. And he is fun to watch, hat and all.
No reason not to unless there’s a cap on the amount of guys that can be invited. If anything it’s more incentive for him to sign.
Solid move and a surprising move. Think he could have fetched a bit more than a minor league deal with another club.
Could not agree more with everything that’s been said. I’m surprised that someone wasn’t willing to give him a major league deal, but this is a fantastic pickup for the Braves. This is a low cost, solid reward signing. He will cost them nothing, and the Braves are known for their ability to work with pitchers. Perhaps the only better place would have been Pittsburgh or Tampa, but Atlanta is a great place for a pitcher to find his groove again. If they can fix him, they can move him at the deadline and the farm just got better. If they can’t fix him, they didn’t lose anything anyway. This is exactly the kind of signings the Braves should be making and I’m only surprised the player wasn’t able to find something better. Solid move for the Braves.
There is a reason he could not find something better. He is a decent signing, but hardly outstanding. He is a Anthony Bastardo wannabe. Now, Bastardo would have been an “outstanding” signing.
I agree it’s a good signing for the Braves, but not surprised it’s on a minor league deal. His WHIP and FIP the last 2 years, with the lack of control, make him an outlier of sorts.
@bravesfan88. A new manager really would be nice. Great to see Chipper back with the team in any capacity!
Yes, Todd, I definitely have to agree, while he has made some appearances here and there… (mostly on broadcasts or some random appearances helping guys in spring training)…it will definitely be nice to have him as an official member of the Braves, regardless whatever capacity it is in…
I’m hoping ultimately, he can be groomed to take over as the hitting coach, or dare I say even as the new manager!!
Could you imagine Chipper Jones as the Braves manager!?!? …You realize how insanely awesome that would truly be!! haha…Plus, who wouldn’t want to come play for Chipper Jones and in a ridiculously nice, new stadium?? #CJ10-For-2017 lol haha..
I mean it is plausible, crazier things have happened, hell…Fredi is still managing the Braves…Any other franchise, I’m sure would have canned their manager after such collapses and then another down year after that….
Given, Fredi didn’t have much to work with last season, he is still Fredi, Gotta Tip Your Cap, Gonzalez!!
In all seriousness though, as a fellow Braves fan, what are your thoughts in Seitzer?? I’m just curious really. Right now, I don’t truly know how to feel towards the guy…I’m just kinda meh, on him at this point..
I’m not so sure Chipper could do better than Seitzer, but it would be awesome to see him in the dugout again…God, what great memories that brings up…Man, I miss watching him play…
Braves fan since 1991 here. I miss the days of speed Otis Nixon/Marquis Grissom/Deion Sanders/Furcal. I miss the days of power Gant/Klesko/McGriff/Javy Lopez/Andruw Jones/Uggla (before he sucked…)/Chipper. The pitching was insane for awhile too. I mean how many teams get 3 HOF pitchers that played together as long as Smoltz/Glavine/Maddux anymore? I just always found the speed/power combos intoxicating. Not sure about Seitzer although he was a great hitter. I could see Chipper being the hitting coach and he is my all time favorite player that’s recently played. I am not sure he is manager material but at this point he could probably at least do as good as Freddi. The one thing about Cox that drove me crazy is he’d leave his starting pitchers in too long and I think it cost a couple of World Series Championships while he was the manager. I hope this rebuild pans out by 2017 because the Braves really really need it. I really have no clue to why Freddi is still the manager….
This bullpen could really become an asset, especially compared to last year. Yeah, a lot of these guy won’t work out but the depth is incredible.
As a Mets fan, I’m thrilled to have him pitching against the Mets in ’16. He refuses to throw strikes and cannot get out a lefty. Welcome back to the NL East!
And I hope the Braves sign Eric O’Flaherty, too. His work in September was as ineffective as I have witnessed in my 43 seasons watching baseball.
I doubt Clippard would want to sign there unless the Braves gave him a big contract and some sort of assurance that he wouldn’t be traded too quickly (considering he was with the Nats, A’s and Mets all at some point during the year last season).
This might work, his stuff isn’t really that bad, his command might get better with less pressure in Atlanta.
He will revive his career in Atlanta seems like a lot of players will
No disrespect to any of my fellow Braves fans, but I have never read so many positive ‘takes’ made here, on every single signing/trade team management has made since the end of the 15′ season. I mean at this pace & seemingly according to some of y’all, our team will be hoisting the WS Trophy within no time. Now again, don’t get me wrong. Because as a (very) longtime fan of the team, I want the glory days back, as well. All I might suggest though, is that some of y’all just slow your roll a tad & come to realize that nothing with ‘our’ team is on the fast track. Meaning if your looking for the Braves to truly compete with the big dogs in the National League anytime soon, I suggest that you look again. Good day’s to you all & GO BRAVES!!!
This is a low risk/ no risk deal. But I would caution the optimism because his guy would really need to change his mechanics to get lefties out. And if he had any value he would have been picked up after his release last August, even as the Mets were bringing in that other washed up arm O’Flaherty. Again. No risk, decent pick up for Gwinnett’s bullpen.