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06/24/08 7:08 PM ET

Tavarez elects free agency

Reliever rejects outright assignment, ends short Milwaukee stint

ATLANTA -- Right-hander Julian Tavarez surprised the Brewers on Tuesday when he rejected an outright assignment to the Minor Leagues and prompted the team to release him.

The Brewers designated Tavarez for assignment last week and had hoped to get him through waivers and install him as a starter at Triple-A Nashville. They accomplished the first half of that equation, but not the second.

"We talked when him when we told him he was designated for assignment, that we would like him to go to Triple-A and start and get some innings," assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "We liked his stuff, we just didn't like his command and control and that was because he was rusty and he needed innings.

"He seemed receptive to that, but I guess somewhere between then and now he changed his mind or his agent changed his mind for him."

Tavarez is represented by agent Scott Boras.

Tavarez was charged with 10 runs, seven of them earned (though the three unearned runs scored on his own throwing error) in seven relief appearances for the Brewers. He allowed four runs and four hits in each of his final two outings with the team, and became expendable when the team activated reliever David Riske from the disabled list. The Brewers signed Tavarez late last month to help fill voids left by Riske and Eric Gagne. At the time, Tavarez had not pitched in a Major League game in two weeks and had been released by the Red Sox.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.