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.
A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.
MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.
The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.
St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.
There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.
Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.
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