The Atlanta Braves announced today the signing of 10 minor-league free agents. Each of the 10 players have received an invitation to attend Major League spring training as a non-roster invitee.
The list of signed players includes right-handed pitchers David Carpenter, Chris Volstad and Madison Younginer, catchers Willians Astudillo, Matt Kennelly, Ryan Lavarnway and Braeden Schlehuber, infielders Reid Brignac and Chase d'Arnaud and outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo.
Carpenter, 30, returns to the Braves organization for his second stint after splitting the 2015 season between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals, making a combined 30 appearances, all out of the bullpen, going 0-1 with a 4.01 ERA. In two of his 30 appearances last season, he was touched for three runs in each outing, totaling six earned runs in a combined 1.0 inning. In his other 28 appearances, he allowed just five earned runs over 23.2 innings for a 1.90 ERA. The right-hander opened the 2015 campaign with New York before joining the Nationals in mid-June as part of a two-player trade. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as a member of the Braves bullpen. In 2013 he went 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA over 56 appearances, while averaging 10.14 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. In January 2015, Carpenter was included in a three-player trade between the Yankees and the Braves.
Volstad, 29, pitched at a 3.18 ERA while going 11-7 over 27 appearances, including 25 starts, for the Indianapolis (AAA) Indians in 2015 after signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in January. He also appeared in one game during the 2015 campaign with the Pirates. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound right-hander has logged more than 150 innings three times in his Major League career (2009, 2010, 2011), while his last full season in the majors came in 2012 with the Chicago Cubs. The former first-round draft selection (16th overall) by the Miami Marlins in 2005 has been a part of five different organizations (Marlins, Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels and Pirates) and owns a career record of 35-51 with a 4.92 ERA over 131 appearances (123 starts).
Younginer, 25, split the 2015 season between Boston's Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, going a combined 8-4 with a 3.03 ERA over 41 relief appearances. He spent the majority of the season with Portland (AA), registering a 3.05 ERA in 39 appearances. The right-hander has spent his entire career with the Red Sox organization after the club selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 free-agent draft, making 149 appearances, including 44 starts, and going 22-28 with a 4.69 ERA over six seasons.
Astudillo, 24, played the first six seasons of his career in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, combining to bat .318 with 163 runs, 90 doubles and 201 RBI in 435 games while striking out just 51 times in 1,537 professional at-bats. He claimed the Florida State League batting title in 2015 after hitting .314 (121-for-385) with High-A Clearwater, where he logged innings defensively at catcher, first base, third base and left field. In 271.0 innings behind the plate, he threw out 40% (16-of-40) of would-be basestealers.
Lavarnway, 28, split the 2015 season between the Braves and Baltimore Orioles organizations in his fifth Major League campaign. After joining Atlanta on June 15 he batted .227 (15-for-66) in 27 games, stroking a career high-tying two home runs and driving home six. A sixth-round draft pick by the Red Sox out of Yale University in 2008, Lavarnway has batted .198 (74-for-373) with 30 runs, 23 doubles and 40 RBI in 134 Major League games.
Schlehuber, 27, hit a combined .170 (36-for-212) with 13 RBI in 71 games for Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi last season, his eighth with the Braves organization. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Bountiful, UT, hits and throws right handed, and is a career .218 hitter (401-for-1,838) in 567 minor league games.
Kennelly, 26, batted a combined .217 (63-for-290) with 23 RBI in 91 games with Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi last season. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of Australia hits and throws right handed, and made his professional debut in 2007. Over nine minor league seasons with Atlanta and Cincinnati, Kennelly has hit .242 (478-for-1,976) with 19 home runs and 195 RBI.
Brignac, 29, who hits left handed and throws right handed, split last season between Miami and Triple-A New Orleans, going 1-for-13 (.077) in 17 games with the Marlins. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of St. Amant, LA, is a career .219 (188-for-857) hitter over 356 Major League games with Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, New York (AL) and Colorado.
D'Arnaud, 28, spent the majority of last season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley of the Phillies organization, hitting .268 (133-for-497) in 120 games. He also appeared in 11 games for Philadelphia, batting .176 (3-for-17). The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Torrance, CA, hits and throws right handed, and is the older brother of Mets' catcher Travis d'Arnaud. Chase made his Major League debut in 2011 with Pittsburgh and is a .205 (34-for-166) career hitter in 75 combined games with the Pirates and the Phillies.
Tuiasosopo, 29, who hits and throws right handed, spent last season with the Chicago White Sox organization, batting .230 (82-for-356) with 18 home runs and 52 RBI in 103 games for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound native of Bellevue, WA made his Major League debut in 2008 with Seattle, and over parts of four major league seasons with the Mariners and Detroit, has hit .207 (74-for-357) with 12 home runs and 45 RBI in 152 games.