Atlanta Braves sign Gerald Laird

Ezra Shaw

Laird will replace David Ross as the team's backup catcher.

The Atlanta Braves signed free-agent catcher Gerald Laird to a two-year contract Thursday, according to the AJC's David O'Brien.

Laird, 33, was signed to replace David Ross, who officially signed with the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

Laird spent the 2012 season with the Detroit Tigers. In 62 games, Laird batted .282 with a .710 OPS. He hit two home runs.

The 10-year veteran struggled in the postseason for the Tigers. He had just one hit in 20 plate appearances.

The second-round pick in the 1998 amateur draft is a lifetime .244 hitter. He's hit 37 home runs in 698 games.

Laird is expected to back up six-time All-Star Brian McCann next season. While McCann is considered one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, he only played in 121 games for the Braves last season, so Laird could potentially see more playing time.

Ross, who spent the last four seasons with Atlanta, batted .256 with a .770 OPS in 62 games for the Braves last season. He hit nine home runs, which was his highest total since hitting 17 with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007.

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