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Left-hander James Russell released by Atlanta Braves

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Left-hander James Russell has been released by the Atlanta Braves.

Acquired last season at the trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs, the 29-year-old reliever avoided arbitration during the offseason by agreeing to a one-year deal for $2,425,000 that was not guaranteed. Instead of his salary, he receives $596,311, which is 45 days termination pay.

Russell had a 10.57 ERA in spring training, giving up 10 runs - nine earned - 10 hits and three homers in 7 2-3 innings.

Luis Avilan, coming off a disappointing season, appears likely to claim one of the left-handed spots in the bullpen. Twenty-four-year-old Brady Fiegl also has impressed, though he hasn't pitched above Class A.

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Russell's release was announced Sunday. He was acquired along with utilityman Emilio Bonifacio, who became a free agent and signed with the Chicago White Sox.