The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to release catcher Francisco Cervelli today, and immediately, the Braves jumped all over it, reportedly signing the veteran backstop, providing he clears waivers.
I'm told Cervelli has some sort of deal with the Atlanta Braves. Not sure if it's major league or minor league.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) August 22, 2019
Cervelli has dealt with concussion issues his entire career, which is why he has sat out since May. Per his request, the Pirates obliged to his release so he could compete for a contender, and there’s not a team more in need of a catcher than the Braves.
Atlanta recently placed Brian McCann on the 10-Day IL and called up Alex Jackson from AAA. Their primary option is now Tyler Flowers, who has hit under the Mendoza line since May and hasn’t been any better defensively. This signing could be purely for organizational depth in the case that McCann’s injury lasts longer than expected, or the Braves could feel Cervelli is a legitimate threat to serve as the team’s second catcher if things do not improve behind McCann when he returns.
The veteran is a .269 career hitter with a .734 OPS over his 12-year career.