ATLANTA – The World Series champions Atlanta Braves added depth in catching by signing Manny Piña to a two-year, $ 8 million deal on Monday.
The Venezuelan will earn $ 3.5 million next season and $ 4.5 million in 2023. The contract also includes a $ 4 million club option for 2024 without termination.
Piña, 34, hit a career-high 13 home runs in 75 games with the Milwaukee Brewers last season, his sixth with the Brewers.
He joins Braves starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who agreed to a two-year, $ 16 million extension during the season that includes an $ 8 million club option for 2024. D’Arnaud and Piña give the Braves a Pair of veteran receivers to hold the position, while top prospect Shea Langeliers gets additional experience in the minors.
The Braves also have another young catcher, fellow Venezuelan William Contreras, 23, who had a chance to start in 2021 after d’Arnaud was injured but was unable to keep the job.
Contreras battled defensively while hitting .215 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in 52 games with Atlanta.
Piña’s signing is a mere side note to the Braves’ main focus this offseason: keeping star first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Freeman has made it clear that he wants to stay in Atlanta, but the two sides failed to agree on a new long-term deal during the season. He ran for free agency after the Braves’ surprising run to their first championship since 1995, along with postseason stars Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler.
Another potential free agent is Adam Duvall, who turned down a $ 7 million mutual option in 2022. Duvall is eligible for arbitration unless the Braves decide not to offer him a contract, which would make him a free agent for the second consecutive offseason.
Piña agreed to donate 1% of his earnings in each year of his contract to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.