12/05/08 4:10 PM EST
Braves sign Ross to two-year deal
Veteran catcher to serve as All-Star McCann's backup
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Ross, who has played for five teams during his seven-year Major League career, comes to Atlanta to serve as All-Star catcher Brian McCann's backup. The two-year deal is believed to be worth $3 million.
Because of the limited number of attractive options in next year's free-agent market, the Braves opted to provide a two-year offer to Ross, who has hit .222 with 60 homers and a .435 slugging percentage in 431 career games.
Ross' finest season came with the Reds in 2006, when he hit .255 with a career-best 21 homers and a .590 slugging percentage in 90 games. During the two seasons that have followed, the 31-year-old catcher has combined to hit just .210 with 20 homers and a .384 slugging percentage.
After hitting .231 with three homers in 52 games with the Reds this past season, Ross was released and signed by the Red Sox four days later. In eight September at-bats with Boston, he recorded just one hit.
Along with some power potential, Ross also comes to Atlanta with a strong arm. He has retired 38 percent (87-of-228) of would-be basestealers.
Ross' presence should allow Braves manager Bobby Cox to feel more comfortable during the days that McCann needs to rest. While serving as McCann's backup this past season, Corky Miller and Clint Sammons combined to hit just .114 (13-for-114) with two homers.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.