Backup catcher Gerald Laird and the Detroit Tigers have parted ways.
Reports have the 32 year old free agent, a 10 year MLB veteran, agreeing to a contract with the Atlanta Braves. Terms have not been announced, but the deal is believed to be for 2 years.
Laird is coming off his second tour of duty with the Tigers (2009-10, 2012) and second straight World Series appearance (winning in 2011 with the Cardinals). The catcher known as G-Money (G$) had an excellent first half at the plate for the Tigers, hitting .306 with a .361 OBP in part-time duty behind Alex Avila. Laird tailed off somewhat after the mid-season break, ending the season with a .282 average, 2 home runs and 11 RBI in 63 games.
Laird was platooned with Avila in the 2012 playoffs, hitting .050 in 20 at bats.
Though limited offensively, Laird's true value was as a quality backup with a deserved reputation for being a solid defender. For that reason alone, the Tigers will miss the veteran catcher. But then again, he's a backup catcher. The Tigers have bigger priorities than signing an aging, light hitting backstop to a multi-year deal.
During his end of season press conference, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said Laird would be allowed to look for other opportunities, though he was welcome to return. Seems "look for other opportunities" was code for "wants more money and playing time," which the the Braves are willing the give.
Dombrowski also added the the Tigers are comfortable with Bryan Holaday in the role of backup catcher.
Laird is expected to get the playing time he craves in Atlanta as Braves starting catcher Brian McCann recovers from off season shoulder surgery.
Best of luck to Gerald Laird. G-Money will be missed .