Reports: Stults joins Braves’ candidates for fifth starter

Eric Stults went 8-17 with a 4.30 ERA over 176 innings for the Padres last season.

Jake Roth/Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves’ options to fill the fifth spot in the rotation continues to grow.

According to multiple reports, veteran left-hander Eric Stults has signed a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

He’ll join a group that includes David Hale, James Russell, both of whom spent most of last season in the bullpen, prospects Manny Banuelos and Mike Foltynewicz, veterans Wandy Rodriguez and Chien-Ming Wang.

Atlanta already has a strong starting four in place with Julio Teheran (14-13, 2.89 ERA in 2014), Alex Wood (11-11, 2.78), Mike Minor (6-12, 4.77) and Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74), who was acquired in the deal that sent Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals.

Stults, 35, spent last season with the Padres, going 8-17 in 32 starts with a 4.30 ERA in 176 innings. In his eight-year career, he has a 4.12 ERA with a 35-43 record with the Dodgers, Rockies, White Sox and San Diego.

His 11 wins in ’13 were a career-best and he has one season with an ERA below 3.00 when he posted a 2.91 in 15 starts.