Braves bring back A.J. Pierzynski on one-year pact

AP Photo/John Amis
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As first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Braves have reached agreement on a one-year free agent contract with veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski. It’s a $3 million deal, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Pierzynski was brought to Atlanta last winter to serve as a backup and mentor to youngster Christian Bethancourt, but the 38-year-old wound up grabbing the starting job when Bethancourt struggled and he finished with a respectable .300/.339/.430 batting line along 436 plate appearances.

Bethancourt still has a lot of work to do offensively, and this one-year deal with Pierzynski can take some of the pressure off. The 24-year-old defensive-minded backstop hit .200/.225/.290 in 160 plate appearances this past season for the cellar-dwelling Braves.