With young Christian Bethancourt ready to take over as the starting catcher, the Braves were looking for one more veteran catcher to bring to camp with newly signed backup A.J. Pierzynski.
John Buck will be that extra catcher, as the veteran signed a minor league contract Monday with an invitation to big league camp.
Buck has been in the big leagues for 11 season, playing for the Royals, Blue Jays, Marlins, Mets, Pirates, Mariners and Angels.
Last season, Buck split the season between the Mariners and the Angels. He hit a combined .225 in only 97 plate appearances with one home run and six RBI.
Just two seasons ago Buck was the starting catcher for the Mets. He hit .215 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 407 plate appearances.
The Braves needed another catcher after Eli Whiteside retired and became a coach on the major league staff for the San Francisco Giants. Whiteside had signed a minor league deal with the Braves and was expected to be the starting catcher at Gwinnett.
The Braves have not ruled out the possibility of having three catchers on the Atlanta roster. The hope is that Bethancourt will be ready for full-time duty with Pierzynski backing him up. Buck will be insurance in case Bethancourt is not ready and needs more time in Triple-A.
If Buck does not make the big league roster, he might be in Triple-A. Jose Yepez and Braeden Schlehuber are also expected to compete for playing time in Gwinnett.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Braves sign John Buck to a minor league deal
Atlanta Dugout Top Stories
Dustin Peterson's improvement continuesWho has likely been the player of the year in the Braves' farm system? Most likely Dustin Peterson in Mississippi.
Adonis Garcia giving Atlanta options at 3BBill Shanks has some impressive numbers on Adonis Garcia, who is giving the Braves options for third base for the future.
New Review: Gwinnett BravesDoes having your Triple A affiliate in close proximity reinforce the team brand and help attendance, or will the parent club cannibalize ticket sales and hurt attendance figures?…
Stadium JourneyYesterday at 5:56 AM
Braves get two prospects for CervenkaThe Braves have added two more young players with the trade of reliever Hunter Cervenka to Miami.