The Arizona Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with veteran catcher Gerald Laird on a minor-league deal, including an invitation to big league spring training, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Free agent catcher Gerald Laird is signing a minor league deal with the #dbacks, source says.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 2, 2015
The 35-year-old backstop made his big league debut back in 2003 with the Texas Rangers, spending the next six years with them. In 167 plate appearances with the Atlanta Braves during the 2014 campaign, Laird hit .204/.275/.257 with no home runs and ten runs batted in, along with a -0.5 WAR in 53 games played.
In 798 games played over eleven seasons with the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves, Laird has a slash line of .244/.305/.353 with 38 home runs and 238 runs batted in, along with a 74 OPS+ and a 6.6 WAR.
Laird joins fellow catchers Tuffy Gosewisch, Matt Pagnozzi and Rule V draft selection Oscar Hernandez. Gosewisch is expected to be the starter entering the 2015 campaign, but has only slashed .213/.225/.287 in 179 plate appearances in the big leagues. Needless to say, barring another acquisition, Laird is likely to see a considerable amount of playing time in 2015.