Braves sign veteran catcher Buck to Minors deal

Braves sign veteran catcher Buck to Minors deal

ATLANTA -- Attempting to strengthen their organizational depth in the catching department, the Braves have signed veteran John Buck to a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Buck will be targeted to begin the upcoming season with Triple-A Gwinnett. But the 34-year-old would be the most likely option to join Atlanta's roster if anything were to happen to Christian Bethancourt or A.J. Pierzynski, who are slated to be the two catchers on the Braves' Opening Day roster.

Buck has batted .234 with 134 homers and a .698 OPS during an 11-season Major League career that has included 1,090 games. He appeared in just 32 Major League games while being employed by both the Mariners and Angels last year.

After spending the first six seasons of his career with the Royals, Buck went to the Blue Jays in 2010 and enjoyed his finest season, hitting .281 with a career-high 20 homers. He homered at least 12 times in each of the next three seasons, but his power subsequently disappeared, as he went deep in just one of the 97 plate appearances totaled at the big league level last year.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.