Today, the Atlanta Braves announced that they have signed free agent catcher Tyler Flowers to a two-year contract, with a club option for the 2018. Every move made by the Braves is being closely monitored, as the team has spent the last season embarking on one of the more unpredictable and exciting rebuilding projects in the game.
Earlier in this offseason, Atlanta was at the center of two of the most surprising trades of the offseason, in which the team sent away SS Andrelton Simmons and SP Shelby Miller in exchange for several prospects. However, the deal with Flowers is the first time that the team has extended a multi-year contract to a free agent. Previous free agents that the Braves signed this winter include A.J. Pierzynski, Gordon Beckham, and Bud Norris.
Pierzynski was the Braves’ primary catcher last season, backed up by Ryan Lavarnway and Christian Bethancourt. Flowers will likely split catching duties with the veteran Pierzynski this season.
The signing represents a homecoming for Flowers: he was drafted by Atlanta in the 33rd round of the 2005 Draft, and was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2008 in a deal for Boone Logan and Javier Vasquez. Flowers played catcher for the White Sox each year from 2009-2015, assuming the primary starter’s role in 2014 and 2015.