The Braves have signed catcher Gerald Laird to a two-year deal on Thursday, according to multiple reports. MLB's Mark Bowman was the first to break the news. The specific terms were not released, although it's hard to imagine Laird receiving anything more than $2 million to $3 million a season.
The Braves were looking for a catcher to fill the void left by David Ross after leaving for the Red Sox. Laird, 32, appeared in 63 games with the Tigers last season. He batted .282/.337/.374 in 2012, and he threw out 19 percent of would-be base stealers. Laird has a reputation of being a terrific teammate and is a strong presence in the clubhouse.
Brian McCann is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Laird will serve in essentially the same role that Ross had for the past four years.
This seems like a great fit for both sides. Laird will be capable of doing all the things the Braves ask of him next season, and it allows McCann to fully recover from his surgery without feeling the pressure of a rushed return back to the field.