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Braves part ways with Richardson, Cabrera

Dustin Richardson, who didn't pitch as well as hoped for Gwinnett after being claimed off waivers from the Marlins last season, was released by Atlanta.

The left-handed reliever posted a 6.00 ERA in 23 games with the G-Braves. He struck out 29 in 30 innings, but walked 22 while posting a 1-0 record and no saves.

Richardson, 27, had been 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA and two saves in 23 games with New Orleans and of the Pacific Coast League before being claimed. He had 35 strikeouts and 20 walks in 32 innings for New Orleans.

Richardson was a fifth-round draft choice by the Red Sox out of Texas Tech in 2006 and made 29 appearances for Boston before being traded to Florida prior to last season.

Also released recently by Atlanta was outfielder Willie Cabrera, who played briefly with Gwinnett in 2010 and 2011. Cabrera, 25, twice made the Southern League All-Star Game in Class AA, but had just eight hits in 50 at-bats with the G-Braves.

Recuperating Marek signs with Toronto

Stephen Marek, who is coming off Tommy John elbow surgery, signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent although he isn't expected to be ready to pitch until at least midway in the 2012 season.

Marek, 28, had an impressive spring training with Atlanta last year, but appeared in just 10 games early in the season with G-Braves before hurting his elbow. He had 16 strikeouts to four walks in 10 innings while going 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA and two saves.

The right-hander had spent most of the 2010 season with Gwinnett after a strong start in Class AA. He was 2-2 with a 1.43 ERA and nine saves in 49 games that season, striking out 56 in 50 innings.

Marlins sign Bowman as free agent

After having his 2011 season with the G-Braves sidetracked by injury, third baseman Shawn Bowman signed with the Marlins as a free agent.

Bowman, who dazzled Coolray Field fans with his defense last year, hit .278 with eight homers in 52 games before having to go on the disabled list and then was hurt again while rehabbing. The 27-year-old never made it back to Gwinnett.

Bowman is one of eight position players who were with the G-Braves last year who have signed elsewhere as free agents. They include outfielders Matt Young (Tigers) and Wilkin Ramierez (Twins), and infielder Diory Hernandez (Astros).

Still unsigned is free agent first baseman Mauro Gomez. The International League all-star hit .304 with 34 doubles, 24 homers and 90 RBIs for the G-Braves in 2011.

Conrad in a holding pattern

Infielder Brooks Conrad has a tentative opportunity to re-sign with the Braves in a minor league deal if he doesn't find another team as a free agent. He was not tendered a major league contract by Atlanta in early December.

Conrad, who turns 31 on Jan. 16, spent all of the past two seasons with the Braves after splitting time between Gwinnett and Atlanta in 2009. He had eight homers and 33 RBIs in 2010 before slipping to four homers and 13 RBIs last year.

Conrad hit a walk-off pinch-hit grand slam against the Reds in 2010, but also made three errors in a playoff loss to the Giants that season.