• Braves allow popular Culberson to become free agent

    Updated:
    ATLANTA (AP) - The Braves did not offer a 2020 contract to Charlie Culberson on Monday, making the popular utility player a free agent.

    Atlanta also did not offer contracts to catcher John Ryan Murphy and outfielder Rafael Ortega.

    The 30-year-old Culberson played two years with Atlanta. His 2019 season ended on Sept. 14 after he was hit by a pitch from Washington's Fernando Rodney. Culberson sustained multiple facial fractures and missed the Braves' NL Division Series loss to St. Louis.

    Culberson hit .259 with five home runs in 2019 after hitting .270 with 12 homers in 2018.

    Culberson was valuable for his versatility, as he played almost every position. He even pitched in relief in two games.

    He earned $1,395,000 and likely would have gained a salary of about $1.75 million had the Braves offered him a contract and allowed him to become eligible for arbitration.

    The 28-year-old Ortega hit .205 in 34 games. Murphy had only one at-bat with Atlanta after hitting .177 with four homers for Arizona before being traded to the Braves for $100,000 on July 31.

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