We’ve mentioned it a few times, but Alex Anthopoulos is his most active in free agency right at the beginning, and he just made his first acquisition. The Braves announced tonight that they have signed former Brewers catcher Manny Piña to a two-year deal.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 15, 2021
Catcher was certainly a need this offseason after what the Braves had to go through once Travis d’Arnaud was lost for months after tearing a ligament in his hand. William Contreras and Shea Langeliers are two of Atlanta’s best prospects, but neither of them is quite ready for The Show. Signing Piña ensures that they won’t be rushed and can spend at least another season in the minors.
Piña is about what you would expect from a backup catcher. He’s pretty good defensively and has a little bit of pop in his bat. For his career, Piña has an OPS+ of 91, which is slightly below league average but not too shabby for a catcher. Since 2017, he’s accumulated 6.1 fWAR, and he’s coming off a season in which he hit a career-high 13 homers in just 75 games. It’s not the sexiest first signing of the offseason, but it’s a necessary one and signals the beginning of what should be an eventful offseason for the Braves.