Reliever Carlos Torres has agreed to a deal with the Braves, reports Jim Seimas of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, who adds that he chose Atlanta over the Yankees and Dodgers (Twitter link). Bill Shanks of FOX Sports Radio and the Macon Telegram tweets that it’s a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Torres will give the Braves an option either in their rotation or bullpen, though the latter seems more likely based on his lack of recent rotation experience. The rebuilding Braves have a wide-open bullpen picture, with right-handers Arodys Vizcaino, Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson as the locks to factor into the relief corps. Beyond that trio, the likes of Mike Foltynewicz, Daniel Winkler, Ryan Weber and Shae Simmons (who is recovering from February 2015 Tommy John surgery) all represent right-handed options on the 40-man roster. Non-roster invitees that will be competing with Torres include David Carpenter, Alexi Ogando, Jhoulys Chacin and Chris Volstad, among others.
The 33-year-old Torres has spent the past three seasons with the Mets, pitching to a combined 3.59 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 46 percent ground-ball rate in 241 innings (155 relief appearances, 10 starts). However, his solid production took a step backward in 2015, as he posted a 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings, which led the Mets to designate Torres for assignment in order to clear a spot on the roster for Antonio Bastardo, who signed a two-year deal with the reigning National League Champions. Torres ultimately elected free agency after clearing outright waivers. Because Torres and the Mets had already agreed to a one-year, $1.05MM contract to avoid arbitration, the Mets were responsible for 30 days of termination pay on that non-guaranteed arb deal — a total of about $172K.