Braves sign Almanzar to minor league deal

The Atlanta Braves have signed former Rangers' reliever Carlos Almanzar to a minor-leauge deal. BravesCenter's Bill Shanks has more.

The Atlanta Braves have added another candidate for their bullpen for this season, signing right-handed pitcher Carlos Almanzar to a minor league contract, with an invitation to big league camp.

Almanzar, who just turned 32 in November, was 7-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 67 games for the Texas Rangers in 2004, but pitched in only six games and missed most of last season after having to undergo Tommy John surgery in May.

Signed by the Blue Jays in 1990 as a undrafted free agent, Almanzar pitched with Toronto in 1997 and 1998, before pitching in San Diego the next two seasons. His best season with the Padres was in 2000, when he was 4-5 with a 4.39 ERA in 62 games. He allowed 73 hits in 69.2 innings, along with 25 walks, and 56 strikeouts.

Almanzar then pitched with the Yankees in 2001 and the Reds in 2002 before spending all of 2003 in Triple-A. He signed with the Rangers in October of 2003 and had his best major league season in 2004 with Texas.

Last October Almanzar was suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its steroid policy. He will have to sit out the first ten days when he is activated on a big league roster.

The Braves now have 55 players expected in camp this spring, including 17 non-roster invitees.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at

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