The Braves have inked veteran backstop John Buck to a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp this spring, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports on Twitter. Buck is expected to open the year at Triple-A, Bowman adds.
Atlanta now appears to be set with veteran options behind the dish to supplement youngster Christian Bethancourt. The club already brought in A.J. Pierzynski, and will now slot Buck in behind that major league duo.
Buck 34, has seen action in parts of eleven big league seasons. Over 4,009 total plate appearances, he owns a .234/.301/.398 slash with 134 home runs. He spent last year with the Mariners and Angels, receiving just 97 big league turns at bat and putting up a meager .570 OPS, though he did hit well in his time at Triple-A. Despite poor framing ratings, Buck has been valued as a good defensive catcher in the recent past. But Seattle reportedly let him go last year in part due to concerns with his abilities behind the dish.
Given Buck’s high standing as a good clubhouse presence, the Braves will surely hope for the best on the field and look to benefit from his presence with their top minor league affiliate.