Right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. has opted out of his minor league deal with the Braves and is now a free agent, tweets Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He’d been vying for one of the final spots in the Atlanta ’pen.
Edwards has allowed just one run and punched out eight batters in 8 1/3 innings this spring, but he’s also surrendered seven hits and walked six batters. Control has never been a strong point for the lanky right-hander, and his lackluster command of the zone this spring seemed to leave him behind fellow non-roster invitee Nate Jones in terms of the pair’s chances to make the roster.
Now 29 years old, Edwards was a key reliever for the Cubs from 2015-18, pitching to a combined 3.06 ERA with a hefty 33.9 percent strikeout rate over the life of 159 innings. His effectiveness dipped early in the 2019 season, however, and he’s been mired in something of a downward spiral since. Edwards has been tagged for 18 runs on 14 hits and 14 walks apiece over his past 21 2/3 big league innings, battling shoulder and forearm injuries along the way.