Former Chicago Cubs lefty James Russell released by Braves


According to multiple reports, former Chicago Cubs left-hander James Russell has been released by the Atlanta Braves – the team that acquired him from Chicago back in July last season.

Mark Bowman of was one of the first to break the news.

The trade netted the Cubs Victor Caratini, who batted .264/.310/.377 down the stretch for the Midwest League champion Kane County Cougars last season. Meanwhile, Russell headed to the National League East, where he pitched well for Atlanta in the second half, compiling a 2.22 ERA, 2.31 FIP and 1.027 WHIP in 22 appearances.

This spring, however, has been a completely different story for the 29-year-old southpaw. In 7 2/3 innings of work this spring, Russell has pitched to a 10.57 earned run average. The lefty has been roughed up for nine earned runs on 10 hits – including a trio of home runs.

The $660,000 in pay owed to Russell is his salary for approximately 45 days – per clause 7 (2) B of the uniform players contract. Fred Owens over at the FanSided Atlanta Braves’ site, Tomahawk Take, broke down the finer details of that clause earlier today. You can find all of that here.

In his time with the Cubs, which spanned five seasons, Russell accumulated 316 appearances spanning 272 innings. During that stretch, he posted a 3.74 ERA – with his best season coming last year between Atlanta and Chicago, with whom he combined to pitch to a 2.97 ERA.

Chicago originally drafted Russell in the 14th round of the 2007 amateur draft after the southpaw was drafted in both 2004 and 2005 by the Seattle Mariners.

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