Pittsburgh will be responsible for paying the rest of Cervelli’s salary (less than million), while the Braves are on the tab for the prorated league minimum.
Veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli, who has not played in a big-league game since late May after sustaining a concussion and was released earlier this week by the Pittsburgh Pirates, has signed a big-league deal with the Atlanta Braves. Cervelli will be activated for the Braves ahead of their Saturday night game vs. the New York Mets, the team announced: Cervelli, 33, was in the midst of a disappointing season before hitting the shelf. In 34 games, he’d hit .193/.279/.248 with more strikeouts (31) than hits (21). To Cervelli’s credit, he has been a reliable on-base machine in the past, and has posted at least a 90 OPS+ in each of his last four full seasons.
The Pirates released Cervelli in part because of a disagreement in how much playing time he should receive down the stretch. Here’s what general manager Neal Huntington said in a team-issued statement:
The #Braves today signed C Francisco Cervelli to a major league contract and optioned C Alex Jackson to @GoStripers. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the club transferred LHP Grant Dayton to the 60-day injured list. Cervelli will be active tonight and wear No. 45.
“We appreciate who Francisco is and all he has done for the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh. We believe this was the right move for the right reasons and wish Francisco well.”
“As Francisco has worked through his rehabilitation, we have had multiple conversations with him and his agent regarding his projected playing time for the remainder of this season with the Pirates,” said Huntington. “Out of respect and appreciation for Francisco, we have chosen to honor his request to be released in order for him to pursue an opportunity that potentially gives him a chance at more playing time, as well as an opportunity this season to compete in the Postseason.