Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta Braves brought in a new backup catcher on Friday, agreeing to terms with veteran Gerald Laird on a two-year contract that will run through the 2014 season.
Laird, who replaces recent free-agent departure David Ross, spent last season with the Detroit Tigers and batted .282 with two homers and 11 RBI in 63 games for the American League champions. The 32-year-old earned a World Series ring as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals the previous year.
In 10 major league seasons with Texas, Detroit and St. Louis, Laird has recorded a .244 average with 37 homers and 215 RBI while throwing out 33 percent (170-of-511) of baserunners attempting to steal.
"Gerald gives us a proven Major League veteran behind the plate," said Braves executive vice president and general manager Frank Wren. "He was high on our list of off-season goals and we are fortunate to acquire a catcher with his level of experience, not only in the regular season, but also in the postseason."
Ross signed a two-year, $6.2 million deal with the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday after serving as Brian McCann's understudy over the past four seasons.