Melky Cabrera, Takashi Saito released

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves released outfielder Melky Cabrera in a curious decision Tuesday and also let go of right-hander Takashi Saito.

The 26-year-old Cabrera hit .255 with four homers and 42 RBIs and started in 115 games during the regular season, then went 0 for 8 against San Francisco in the NL Division Series. He was acquired by Atlanta as part of a five-player trade that sent right-hander Javier Vazquez to the New York Yankees on Dec. 22.

Cabrera made $3.1 million and would have been eligible for salary arbitration. The Braves had until Dec. 2 to offer a 2011 contract and could have traded him before then.

"We did not feel there was a market based on the season he had and the cost of going to arbitration with him," Braves general manager Frank Wren said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

In his final season with the Yankees, Cabrera batted .280 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs. While he hit .391 and drove in four runs in the AL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels, he slumped to a .154 average with no RBIs in the World Series against Philadelphia.

The 40-year-old Saito was 2-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 56 games for Atlanta and made $3.45 million, including $250,000 in performance bonuses. He had one save in two chances and helped to set up closer Billy Wagner before he was slowed by a sore right shoulder the last month of the season.

Saito pitched for 14 seasons for Yokohama of Japan's Central League before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006. He signed as a free agent with Atlanta on Dec. 3 and his contract specified he would be released within 11 days of the end of the World Series.