Atlanta Braves sign left-hander Alex Torres


The Atlanta Braves have reportedly signed free agent left-handed reliever Alex Torres (and his hat) to a Minor League deal with a spring training invitation.

According to’s Mark Bowman, the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a Minor League contract with veteran left-handed reliever Alex Torres and he will compete for a roster spot with a spring training invitation.

Yes, Alex Torres is the guy with the bulky protective cap pitching in the National League. Atlanta Braves fans should remember Torres from either his time with the San Diego Padres or the New York Mets the last few years. Torres wears the cap after seeing his former Tampa Bay Rays teammate Alex Cobb get hit in the head by a line drive a few years ago.

Torres was not part of the Mets’ World Series run as he was DFA’d by New York in August. He had a tough time getting pitches in the strike zone with 26 walks in 34.1 innings pitched 2015. Bowman also adds that Torres was largely ineffective at getting left-handed batters out as a lefty specialist, actually doing a better job of retiring right-handed hitters.

After last season’s disastrous results in the bullpen, Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella made it a point to improve Atlanta’s leaky bullpen in 2016 by acquiring a plethora or arm talent. Torres’ signing is the latest of several moves to hopefully bolster one of the MLB’s worst bullpens in 2015.

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Atlanta does need a replacement for former lefty specialist Luis Avilan. The Braves tried their luck by rushing up rookie Matt Marksberry in 2015 to no avail after Avilan went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Alex Wood/Hector Olivera trade. Perhaps Torres could give the Atlanta Braves some much-needed versatility as a left-hander in their bullpen in 2016.

If Torres can again get hitters to chase his pitches, he could have a nice resurgence in Atlanta in 2016. His ERA of 3.15 in 2015 would have helped the Braves’ leaky bullpen last summer. Coppolella clearly isn’t going after any marquee players in free agency this offseason.

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However, do look for Coppolella and the rest of the Atlanta Braves front office to make minor moves like the one involving Alex Torres to get slightly better with each transaction before beginning 2016. For now, the Atlanta Braves have a new lefty in the bullpen and have to have a fresh supply of Super Mario Brothers hats in the Turner Field clubhouse for Torres. Go Braves!