12:40 pm November 15, 2012, by David O'Brien
Wee Willie Keeler
November 15th, 201212:47 pm
November 15th, 201212:49 pm
David from Athens, Alabama
November 15th, 201212:52 pm
Lee in S GA
November 15th, 20121:01 pm
yep ….this is a good signing
Homer the Brave
November 15th, 20121:04 pm
I guess Corky Miller wasn’t available.
November 15th, 20121:05 pm
Dave: Have you looked my email on the Braves, pitching, and bench???
Brave New World
November 15th, 20121:08 pm
Good signing! GO BRAVES!
Chris from the Rock
November 15th, 20121:18 pm
Good signing. Class act and solid backup catcher.
keeping it real
November 15th, 20121:25 pm
Really don’t mean to be negative, but he throws out 19 % of runners and he didn’t even have Tommy Hanson to bring his numbers down. Little disappointed, but as a Braves fan, I’m used to it.
November 15th, 20121:28 pm
Keeping it real:
Sort of disapppointed that you let 8 other guys post before bringing your negavity to this blog. Am I missing something or was Laird signed to be the BACKUP catcher?
November 15th, 20121:30 pm
And, Mr. Keeping It Real, what available back-up catcher would you have liked for them to get? His numbers and experience were really better than any other “back-up” catcher out there, and the Braves certainly weren’t goping to get a starting caliber catcher to back up McCann for most of the year.
No. 1 Braves Fan
November 15th, 20121:31 pm
One need filled. Can we hope for a power hitting right-hand OF next?Or maybe a replacement for Bourn?
November 15th, 20121:32 pm
Not exactly Johnny Bench but Braves got him for calling games I guess. They didnt get him for his hitting or throwing I hope?
Good move. A solid veteran catcher to hold down the job until McCann is back.
November 15th, 20121:40 pm
Man so disappointed they didn’t sign Yadi as a backup!!!! Note roll of eyes. People! He’s a backup! Best available backup out there! We weren’t gonna get Russell Martin to backup Mac. This is a good signing and if its a sign that we are going after the best out there I’m excited to see what the next couple months hold.
November 15th, 20121:44 pm
very good pickup for Braves, Keep the ball rolling Frank. Thanks DOB
Look for Braves to resign M.Diaz for LF and Otis Nixon for CF next.
November 15th, 20121:47 pm
Should have signed A. J. Pierzynski and let McCant walk…
November 15th, 20121:49 pm
Awful pickup. Go with Bethancourt.
November 15th, 20121:56 pm
Am I missing something or was Laird signed to be the BACKUP catcher?
Do games in which back up catcher play count in the standings?
JHarber- I can understand “a little disappointed”, but awful??? Awful would be if we’d re-signed Jean Boscan (that’s what he was called when he was a Macon Brave). Laird is what he is: a solid backup catcher. No more, no less.
November 15th, 20121:57 pm
For everyone saying that this is a good signing. Do you know who would have been a better signing? David Ross.
November 15th, 20121:59 pm
Ross was the best possible signing out there!
November 15th, 20122:00 pm
JHarber- Bethancourt is not mlb ready yet. This is a good pickup (Laird).
HillbillyEfrim- So let McCann walk out and not get anything for him? They could trade him if they weren’t in contention at the All Star break or get a 1st round draft pick for him next year if he leaves for another team. McCann would be expected to round back into his normal stats. It’s a good thing Frank Wren doesn’t read blog posts like yours.
November 15th, 20122:01 pm
Let’s wait and see how much he cost.
Could we get Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton from Miami for 2 or 3 minor league starting pitchers??? haha!!!!
November 15th, 20122:02 pm
Folks for the last time- Ross was great but he got more money for 2 years than he made in 4 with the Braves. The Braves have bigger needs to worry about than backup catcher which will require more money. I love Ross as much as you but the contract was too much for a backup catch. Come on folks!
November 15th, 20122:05 pm
If Bethancourt is ready after next season to take over as starting catcher then we get a nice draft pick for McCann walking out as a free agent and we have Bethancourt ready to go.
November 15th, 2012
Folks for the last time
Was that a promise?
November 15th, 20122:06 pm
I’m under the belief that McCann will rebound next year when healthy with respectable offensive numbers again.
November 15th, 20122:08 pm
Yes. It’s been documented heavily on here about Ross. Folks are just not paying attention. Would 1 of those folks be you Ralphy Mae?
November 15th, 20122:10 pm
There you go Hankie bo, you’ve broken your promise already, shame shame.
November 15th, 20122:11 pm
Matty Ice Diaz
November 15th, 20122:14 pm
I used to put on a catchers mitt and toss the ball with relievers. Call me.
yall are dumb
I wonder what it would take for everyone to come on here and say “man that was a good pick up” the does everyone just see what happened in Miami? We are not looking to sign an all star team (especially at back up catcher) we have talent on the team, so lets complement that talent with some solid players
November 15th, 20122:15 pm
The Marlins are cleaning house. Shipped 2 starting pitchers (and Reyes) out to Toronto. The only real “star” left in Miami is Giancarlo Stanton. He’s a monster home run-hitting outfielder. (Did I mention he’s a right-handed hitter?)
The Marlins are collecting young pitching prospects. The Braves really need a slugging outfielder, particularly one who hits from the right side. Stanton is a 23-year-old budding star with substantial power.
Would it be at all possible for Wren to offer a couple hot young pitching prospects and maybe an outfielder to the Marlins for Stanton?
Put Stanton in left. Move Prado to third. Get a quality centerfielder. I think the Braves would be hard to beat.
Nice recovery on Wren’s part!
November 15th, 20122:20 pm
Good pick-up. Got to give Wren credit. He finally did something right. Now trade for Span and sign a LF then we will be OK. I HOPE!
November 15th, 20122:21 pm
This is as good as you can expect for replacing David Ross.
November 15th, 20122:22 pm
Good pickup no problem here!
No Flag Since Lemke
November 15th, 20122:26 pm
Good signing – although disappointing to some posters who wanted to sign Buster Posey or Yadir Molina as our back-up.
November 15th, 20122:27 pm
Not the clubhouse presence Ross is, not the defensive catcher Ross is, and not as solid offensively as Ross is. So the Braves did it again, they regressed at a time of need.
November 15th, 20122:31 pm
Not the clubhouse presence Ross is, not the defensive catcher Ross is, and not as solid offensively as Ross is. So the Braves did it again, they regressed at a time of need. — Yuuup
Let’s see, they lost the best backup catcher in baseball and one of the finest clubhouse presences in baseball. And you didn’t think they’d regress? Who did you think they’s get as Ross’s replacement who wouldn’t be a step down as backup catcher?
November 15th, 20122:35 pm
People, this is not just about a backup catcher. This is about losing a clubhouse leader, a very sound defensive catcher, and a guy that taught pitchers a great deal. When a team has a starter like McCann who has all kinds of issues physically, and goes into massive slumps, you need a backup who is as close to starting caliber as possible. Ross was just that, Laird is not. If the guy was only be counted on to catch 20 games a year, then fine, but Laird will have to do that in the first month of the season. Everyone will see that next year.
November 15th, 20122:36 pm
This signing makes most sense since obviously the Braves did not want to sign Ross to a 2 year contract. The Braves want Bethancourt to be the next catcher in 2014. Laird will be here for one season and then Bethancourt will be the man. You got Laird cheaply and will do nicely this season. More money for other needs!
November 15th, 20122:39 pm
Yuuup you make me throw up,bet laird cost less then half of what Ross got.
So you are saying that the Braves couldn’t do better than Laird by either free agency or trade? I have a very hard time believing that.
November 15th, 20122:45 pm
I’m more concerned about the No 1 catcher than I am about the No 2.
November 15th, 20122:51 pm
The problem isn’t the back-up catcher…it’s the fact that the back-up catcher will be the every day starting catcher on this team.
Mac may never see another healthy season. Laird will have a great opportunity here to work with great pitchers and he’ll have plenty of playing time.
November 15th, 20122:54 pm
All your worries are over if you sign me. I will shutdown left field defensively then Otis can cover CF (between rehab visits). We got Laird’ s big bat until Big Mac returns. Reminds me somehow of my days in Pittsburgh…
November 15th, 20122:56 pm
He is also half the catcher Ross is. You get what you pay for. If Laird has to play any significant time next year, which he will, it will be all the people applauding this signing calling for Wren’s head for signing him.
November 15th, 20122:59 pm
I’m flattered you rednecks want me on your team but me & D.Ross gonna be the Ross Boys in beantown. Go Red Sox.
November 15th, 20123:00 pm
GP AB HR AVG RBI OBP
McCann – 121 – 439 – 20 – 230 – 67 – 300
Ross – 62 – 176 – 9 – 256 – 23 – 321
If given the same number of games, Ross numbers are right in there with McCann, and Ross is considered better defensively. McCann was hurt last year, and when healthy, is the better stick. I don’t know if the Braves had the option to match the Red Sox offer, but, to me, it would have made sense to, especially with McCann coming back from injury. If McCann is worth 12 mil, then Ross is certainly worth 6. Pitchers and catchers are probably two of the most important positions out there, and Ross would have been an effective pinch hitter also. I don’t have a problem with the Braves unwilling to mortgage the farm, like in Bourns case, but theres a big difference in paying 30 mil and 6 mil. I hate to sound negative, and maybe Laird was a good pick-up as far as damage control, but I still see this as a step backward. All in all, with David’s team first attitude, and everything else he brought to the table, this was a big loss.
November 15th, 20123:04 pm
The best on the list of FA’s for the money…Gerald will do a good job, is he Ross? no but he has two WS rings..that speaks good for him.
We moving Forward..Go Braves.
November 15th, 20123:09 pm
Laird and McCann, then two days of rai-an.
November 15th, 20123:10 pm
I like this one plenty. He’s an above average pickup for the need.
Mark (another one)
The most important stats for catchers are the stats for the pitchers when the catcher is calling the game. Laird’s strenght is supposed to be his defense, which is a lot more cerebral than most fans give credit. A veteran catcher who can work with the staff and become a behind the scenes leader on the team is what we need from Laird.
I loved Ross and we’ll miss him. The contract he was offered was a once in his lifetime opportunity and I will root for him as one of the good guys. However, the Braves needed to move on an acquire a backup catcher with strong defense. Laird’s strengths are in working with pitchers and calling games. This is a good signing.
November 15th, 20123:11 pm
I like this one plenty. He’s an above average pickup for the need. Further, the heavy experience at the front end of the season will help later.
Yuuup by his own admission Ross said “I’m not a starting catcher. B’Macs surgery is the only reason
any one would even care about a back up catcher who plays 35-40 games a year.
November 15th, 20123:15 pm
Further, there might be a chance for Bethancourt (or Gattis!) to get a little ML playing time. And I especially like his experience in post-season.
AJC FANTASY GM
November 15th, 20123:26 pm
Ok, I would have alrady re-signed Michael Bourn and then signed Josh Hamilton to play LF and added Zach Greinke as a starter.Next I would’ve traded Tommy Hanson and Dan Uggla to Tampa for David Price and Evan Longoria. That eliminates Uggla’s big contract and allows us to play Prado at 2B and replace Chipper with an all-star. Now I would solve the backup catcher issue by trading Hudson, Maholm, whoever our AAA catcher is and Jose Costanza to SF for Lincecum, Matt Cain and Buster Posey. That would give us a rotation of Price, Cain, Greinke, Lincecum and Medlen (Minor to the bullpeen) and a lineup of C- Posey 1B-Freeman 2b-Prado SS-Simmons 3B-Longoria LF-Hamilton CF-Bourn RF-Heyward. Now on Freeman’s days off we can start either Posey or McCann and we would now have the best backup catcher and first baseman in baseball. Wren is stupid and I am great. BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!!!! Championship…
what you eat for breakfast?
November 15th, 20123:29 pm
Why do I feel like were in for a raul mondise type of year
November 15th, 20123:32 pm
“Laird has played more than 95 games twice in his career – 125 in 2007 and 135 in 2009. He hit .224 with career-highs nine homers and 47 RBIs in 448 plate appearances in ’07, and hit .225 with two homers and a .306 OBP in a career-high 413 plate appearances in ’09.”
McCann had better be healthy !
November 15th, 20123:43 pm
Seriously people, it is the backup catcher. Raul Mondesi was signed and expected to replace Gary Sheffield for the entire season. Besides, Laird started in the World Series for Detroit. I am sure he is good enough to start for one month and then backup McCann.
For those of you that are saying Bethancourt isn’t ready….Wasn’t Simmons also labeled as “not ready”?
The signing is okay, but for 2 years? Does that mean Bethancourt is still 2 years away?
November 15th, 20123:47 pm
Also, for those of you that are saying that he is “only a backup catcher”….Did you all not watch the Braves the past 2 years?
McCann has had a LOT of injuries! If you think he will come out this year and not have ONE setback after a major shoulder surgery, you are crazy. Also, this guy is guaranteed to play at least every 5th or 6th day (Isn’t that how Mac/Ross have always done it?) Stop saying that it’s okay his numbers aren’t great, or that he can’t throw someone out because he is “just a back up catcher”.
Still worries me that he will be our starter for the first few weeks (Pending rehab, could be longer).
Does this means that Bethancourt will be his backup to start the year? What happens if Bethancourt shines? Does he get sent back down because this guy has a 2 year contract?
November 15th, 20123:52 pm
okay, so laird is now our backup catcher. can we now get some offense?
Wow – where is the negativity coming from? Backup catcher problem solved in under a week. I hated to lose Ross, but he’s gone, and we’re not going to do much better. More time, energy and money (extra $2 mil) can now be devoted to acquiring a quality outfield.
November 15th, 20123:54 pm
Laird is an ok backup. I was hoping for Miguel Olivo.
I sincerely hope he does well. He seemed to be the best pick available. But doesn’t it seem odd that we now have two chubby catchers?
November 15th, 20123:58 pm
You’re being very ‘unDude’
November 15th, 20123:59 pm
Let’s see how much money it cost the Braves to sign this guy.
Cause if it was for 1.5 mil or more than i hate the move. Anything less than i at least understand that they didn’t want to give D. Ross 1.5 or 1.6 more…
This isn’t about 3.1 million a year. This is about the difference of D. Ross’ 3.1 million and whatever they paid this guy. Since they both signed 2 year deals.
November 15th, 20124:03 pm
Though it seems like it, I’m really not trying to be negative. I just really hate that the Braves always “coddle” their young talent in the minors.
The Braves weren’t going to spend 3 million on a back up catcher when their are other holes to fill including 2 starting spots in the lineup plus at least three bench spots not including the bullpen arm they usually sign. Laird at 1.5 is a good deal. Probably the next best backup aside from Ross.
November 15th, 20124:06 pm
Good signing for a back-up catcher. Would have loved to see them keep Ross, but a team with a $95 million payroll can only tie-up so much money at the catcher position.
November 15th, 20124:07 pm
And for those that think hes terrible, hes found a way on teams that have been in the world series the last two years. He started about every other game in the last few weeks for the Tigers. Is he David Ross? No, but hes about the next best option. And who knows at 36 how Ross would continue to hold up anyway. Pretty good move by Wren to move quickly and acquire a solid catcher.
Hot Stove said Gerald was not only a good back up that calls a good game but was a fun blast in the clubhouse and fired up guy. Also that as long as Mac was out GL would do fine.
Ross said Red Sox went after him hard and said he would split time with starter ever who that would be.
November 15th, 20124:16 pm
Far from a star, but who would you expect to sign as a backup?
Now we need to focus on completing the Justin Upton deal we’re secretly working on with D-backs.
November 15th, 20124:21 pm
Texas stops talks with D-Backs on J Upton…said they wouldn’t give up SS.. Now its Wren time…
least of the east
November 15th, 20124:24 pm
Laird is about as good as there is left out there as a backup catcher. I guess since he’s 3 yrs younger than Ross, a 2 yr deal for him is okay for the Braves . of course, the fact that he’s cheaper is the main thing.
Boscan signed elsewhere also so the Braves had to get moving.
Laird may be the bigest signing this off season. Bourn isn’t coming back and some of the other OFs cost money.
November 15th, 20124:25 pm
BravesFanInBama, there were questions about Simmons’ offense sure, but he was showing progress. He won the batting title in high A in 2011 with a 311/351/408 line, and hit 293/372/420 in AA before being called up. Bethancourt only hit 243/275/291 in an injury shortened AA season this year. His career OBP in the minors is under 300. Their situations are really not that comparable.
November 15th, 20124:27 pm
Yuuup, I TOTALLY agree with you, ALL these bloggers think this is a great pick up, are you kidding me. I predict this will be the first of many screw-ups by Frank Wren before the season starts and when he is interviewed will say he thinks this is the best team that possibly could have been assembled. Everyone think about something…how many times did Ross come through with a timely hit.. think about it till spring training comes around. Frank Wren WILL NOT sign any one this year that will help the Braves, you can count on it !!!!!
anotherdawg, teams like the Braves with a mid-market payroll simply cannot afford to pay a back up catcher $3MM. Especially when their starter is making $12MM.
November 15th, 20124:29 pm
“So you are saying that the Braves couldn’t do better than Laird by either free agency or trade? I have a very hard time believing that.”
If you think there is someone they should have gone after, then name them. Otherwise, you have no argument here.
November 15th, 20124:32 pm
That was a step forward for Wren. Now do I have to hold his hand to keep going. That was step 1. 3 more to go. Don’t drag your feet.
November 15th, 20124:36 pm
So you are saying that the Braves couldn’t do better than Laird by either free agency or trade? I have a very hard time believing that. — Yuup
OK, then who’d you have in mind. As a backup, mind you. Not a $5-6 million catcher who’s penciled in for regular or platoon duties. A backup.
November 15th, 20124:44 pm
Kelly Shoppach was my #1 choice, but Laird is a solid pickup. The more I read about them both, the more I’m liking Laird – Shoppach seems like he might be clubhouse drama, after his escapades in Boston with Bobby Valentine…plus, he strikes out a LOT.
November 15th, 20124:45 pm
Utterly disgusting and shameful that the Braves only offered Ross a one year contract. I have about had my fill of these owners and executive management, they just aren’t made of championship stuff.
November 15th, 20124:46 pm
As a Tiger’s fan…… I can say, he can catch. Not a hitter and extremely little power, but he can call a solid game
November 15th, 20124:58 pm
Man, couldn’t we have got Biff Pocaroba (spell I know), Bob “great seats” Uecker, Bob Oliver, Joe Torre. Were all of those guys signed yet? At least Torre could hit.
single white dove
November 15th, 20125:01 pm
WE ARE GONNA WIN IT ALL!!!! WE HAVE Gerald Laird ! HURRAH!
November 15th, 20125:05 pm
“Homer The Brave”… the might as well have signed “Corky Miller” comment… RIGHT ON BROTHER!!!
“Backup catcher….??????!!!!!” Let’s not talk like politicians… Laird may be the STARTING catcher for TWO+ months. Laird is CLOSER talent wise to Henry Blanco (of the Bronx). Laird WILL NOT make anyone forget about Buster Posey. ANOTHER SURE OUT in the Brave’s lineup.
As long as Wren and Liberty CHEAPIA are signing Gerald Laird, why NOT bring Fredi’s nephew Matt “Double Play” Diaz back. ?????????????
Yes, the same Matt Diaz (and I QUOTE the AJC) “managed to keep his sense of humor despite the Braves 2011 Playoff collaspe.” Real funny stuff Matt.
Matt Diaz, “he rakes lefthanders you know.” YES… 10 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and that “gold glove defense… NOT, more like Mr. Clank with the glove.
Matt Diaz however IS DESCRIBED by one of Frank Wren’s favorite terms… AFFORDABLE!!!!!!
Gerald Laird???!!!! THANK YOU Frank Wren and Liberty CHEAPIA. Another bargain-basement move.
November 15th, 20125:12 pm
Yuup . . . you’re on the clock
November 15th, 20125:16 pm
His nickname is G-Money. C’mon people… G-Money! No backup catcher out there with a better nickname. Big Mac and G-Money yall! Seriously though, would much rather have G-Money than Ross if it’s the difference in signing an impact bat in LF or a good CF. Just gotta take care of that second part now…
November 15th, 20125:17 pm
.244 career average;
Why don’t Braves ever go after players that can hit above .270 ?
November 15th, 20125:19 pm
This is a decent signing for little money. The Braves had to go into the year with a known quantity at catcher and that’s what they have now. Either Gattis or Bethancourt will probably also make the squad and split time with Laird.
Why did the Braves only want Ross for one year, but plan to sign Liard for 2 years?
Did they think Ross only had 1 year left in him?
Oh…all of you that love this pick-up now, you’re not allowed to hate it next season.
Does this lineup strike fear in the hearts of NL pitchers ?
Playing in Turner Field & bigger Nat. parks,can he duplicate his power numbers?
November 15th, 20125:23 pm
Enough of this yard sale shopping. Fire the person(s) that brokered the Braves TV Deal, and get on to spending money like Ted Turner were still in the Big Chair.
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