Braves release former NL MVP Ryan Howard

Oct 2, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Ryan Howard (6) at the Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Reuters)
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Atlanta Braves released former World Series champion and 2006 National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Howard from his minor league contract on Monday. Howard batted just .184 with one extra-base hit in 42 plate appearances in 11 games for Triple-A Gwinnett. The 37-year-old veteran also struck out 11 times. Atlanta signed Howard last month in a bid to see if the former Philadelphia Phillies slugger had anything left in the tank. Howard spent 13 seasons with the Phils before the club used a $10 million buyout on his contract in the offseason. He shared the team lead in homers with 25 last season but also batted a career-worst .196. The big left-handed hitter enjoyed his best season in Philadelphia in 2006, when he set career highs in homers (58), RBIs (149) and batting average (.313) en route to being named the NL MVP. Howard also set the tone in the 2008 World Series, launching three homers as Philadelphia dispatched the Tampa Bay Rays in five games. His 382 homers rank second on the Phillies' career list, behind Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. Howard, who hit 30 or more homers and drove in more than 100 runs in six straight seasons from 2006 to 2011, collected 1,194 RBIs with Philadelphia. The Braves later obtained utility man Danny Santana, 26, from Minnesota. Santana was designated for assignment by the Twins on Friday after hitting .200 this season. He is a career .266 hitter who has played extensively in center field and shortstop, but has also played the two other outfield positions as well second base and third base. Chapman, 29, failed to make the Braves' roster in spring training. In nine relief appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett this season, he had no decisions and a 7.71 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. (Editing by Larry Fine)