MLB notebook: Braves release veteran starter Garcia

| Monday, March 24, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

Atlanta has released pitcher Freddy Garcia, who was contending for a spot in the Braves' battered rotation.

The team announced the decision Monday, the deadline for Garcia to be put on the major league roster, which would have triggered a $1.25 million guaranteed salary.

“They said they didn't want to pick it up. I have to go,” said Garcia, who started Game 4 of last year's National League Division Series against the Dodgers.

The 37-year-old right-hander was let go despite a strong outing Sunday, when he limited the Mets to an unearned run and two hits over 5 13 innings.

He was 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five spring training starts.

With Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy out for the season, and Mike Minor on the disabled list through at least mid-April as he comes back from a sore shoulder, the Braves are pursuing a trade, waiver-wire deal or signing.

“It's a fluid situation,” general manager Frank Wren said.

Rays pitcher suspended

Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Colome has been suspended for the first 50 games of the season for a positive steroids test.

The 25-year-old right-hander was 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts as a rookie last year.

Around the league

The Orioles acquired infielder Steve Lombardozzi from the Tigers for infielder Alex Gonzalez. ... Rangers catcher Geovany Soto has a tear in his left knee that will sideline him for 10 to 12 weeks. ... The Royals assigned veteran right-hander Jon Rauch to minor league camp. ... Dillon Gee will start the New York Mets' opener at home against Washington on Monday. Gee went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA in 32 starts last year. ... The Twins granted relief pitcher Matt Guerrier his unconditional release. ... The Indians will place centerfielder Michael Bourn on the disabled list before their opener at Oakland on Monday.

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