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Braves reach agreement with Gerald Laird

Atlanta is currently without a healthy catcher on their 40-man roster.

Mike Stobe

UPDATE 12:08 PM EST - The Braves and Laird have reached a two-year agreement, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

ORIGINAL - The Atlanta Braves are close to a deal with veteran free-agent catcher Gerald Laird, reports Mark Bowman of

Atlanta has been on the hunt for catching help for at least the last week, when veteran backstop David Ross decided to sign with the Red Sox rather than re-upping with the Braves. Ross' move to Boston essentially left Atlanta catcher-less, with perennial All-Star Brian McCann expected to miss the start of next season recovering from shoulder surgery.

The 33-year-old Laird spent the 2012 season in Detroit on a one-year, $1 million contract. The big righty hit a solid .282/.337/.374 with two home runs in sixty-three games for the Tigers as a back-up for Alex Avila.

Laird is a career .244/.303/.359 hitter in ten big league seasons with the Rangers, Cardinals and Tigers, and has thrown out thirty-five percent of would-be base stealers, well above league average.