ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have agreed to terms with free-agent catcher Gerald Laird on a two-year contract through the 2014 season. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.
Laird, who turned 33 on November 13, has appeared in the World Series each of the last two seasons, including with the Detroit Tigers this past season and helping the St. Louis Cardinals to a championship in 2011.
Over the course of his 10-year Major League career Laird has thrown out 33 percent (170-of-511) of opponents’ would-be base stealers. In 2009, he played in a career-high 135 games and nailed 40-of-99 attempted base stealers.
“Gerald gives us a proven Major League veteran behind the plate,” Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. “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.”
Originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 1998 draft, Laird played his first six Major League seasons (2003-08) with the Texas Rangers. He joined the Tigers in 2009-10 before moving to the National League for the first time in 2011 with the Cardinals. He returned to Detroit in 2012 and played in 63 games while posting a .282 batting average.
Laird owns a .244 lifetime batting average with 37 home runs in 698 games (665 games at catcher).