36-Year-Old Catcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Gerald Laird in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Gerald Laird Contract Information:
Signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks in February 2015.
Laird (back) was activated from the 60-day DL and designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
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Gerald Laird: MLB Games Played By Position
Gerald Laird Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Gerald Laird: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Gerald Laird.
Rather than turn to the aging Laird when Evan Gattis went down with a back injury in late June, the Braves called up unproven 22-year-old Christian Bethancourt to serve as the primary option behind the plate. While the decision was made mostly for defensive reasons, it spoke to Laird's utter ineffectiveness with the bat, as he hit just .222/.307/.289 over the first three months of the season. Laird finished the year with just a .523 OPS, the lowest mark of his 12-year career, and his 19.8% strikeout rate was his highest since 2007. It seems safe to assume Laird, now 35, will have to compete for a roster spot with another club in spring training, and at this point, it's unlikely that he'll exceed 200 plate appearances in a season ever again.
Seeing only occasional starts behind Brian McCann and Evan Gattis in 2013, Laird posted a career-best .367 OBP, and hit above .280 for the second consecutive season. He contributed next to nothing in the counting stats, however, with just one home run, 13 RBI, 12 runs and one steal in 47 games. Laird will continue to provide veteran catching depth for Atlanta in 2014, serving as a true secondary option with McCann now with the Yankees, but he could eventually lose playing time, and possibly even his job, to Christian Bethancourt, if Bethancourt can improve his on-base skills in the minors.
For the second consecutive season, Laird served as a backup catcher. Last year, it was for the Tigers, as he played second fiddle to Alex Avila. Laird managed to appear in over one-third of Detroit's games, finishing the season with a slash line of .282/.337/.374 in 174 at-bats. He'll take on a similar role in Atlanta in 2013, taking a backseat to Brian McCann, and potentially seeing regular opportunities early in the season as McCann makes his way back from offseason shoulder surgery.
Laird was pushed into a timeshare with Tigers rookie Alex Avila in 2010. While he provided his usual solid play behind the plate, Laird managed to hit just .207 with five home runs in 270 at-bats. The down season couldn't have come at a worse time for Laird, as he hit free agency during the winter. After signing a one-year deal with the Cards, Laird will serve as the primary backup to Yadier Molina in St. Louis.
While Laird offered the Tigers Gold-Glove caliber defense behind home plate in his first campaign with the team, he did little else to warrant any fantasy consideration. In a career-high 413 at-bats, Laird struggled to the tune of .225/.306/.320. while connecting on just four home runs. The 30-year-old backstop is once again tabbed to handle Detroit�s rotation, but his struggles with the bat will likely cost him a few more starts to prospect Alex Avila in 2010.
Laird rebounded a bit from a disappointing 2007 season, but his playing time dipped in September with Texas wanting to get a good look at Taylor Teagarden, and Laird was quick to express his displeasure. He was traded to the Tigers in early December, where he'll go back into a full-time role but in a much tougher environment for hitters. Still, he'll get the bulk of the playing time there ahead of new backup Matt Treanor.
Laird failed in his first chance to become an everyday catcher, hitting just .224/.278/.349 in 407 at-bats. The drop in power was particularly worrisome, and there's now considerable doubt surrounding his role with Texas following the announcement over the winter that Jarrod Saltalamacchia would return to being a full-time catcher.
The "Free Gerald Laird!" chants finally became too loud for even veteran-loving Buck Showlater to ignore in August. A poor September (.191/.257/.279) took the shine off the star a bit, and he shouldn't be expected to hit .296 again, but a nice .270 season with decent power seems reasonable. With Rod Barajas departing via free agency, Laird has the catching duties all to himself.
Laird spent the bulk of the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City wondering what else he has to do to stay in the majors. Hitting .310/.380/.562 should be more than enough to earn him a legitimate look as Texas' starting catcher in 2006, but Rod Barajas is a Buck Showalter favorite and that's a tough nut to crack. That makes Laird the subject of trade rumors, and his best bet for extended playing time in 2006 is a trade out of Texas. He'd be the perfect $1 catcher elsewhere.
Laird missed two months with a torn thumb ligament and found himself sitting in favor of Rod Barajas once healthy. The injury never fully healed, costing Laird an entire season basically. He's shown occasional pop in the minors, but won't get much of a chance behind Barajas and the recently signed Sandy Alomar, Jr. He'll start the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Last year went as expected, with Laird filling in for an occasionally-injured Todd Greene between stints at Triple-A. He continues to show decent power and patience, and he'll assume the second catching duties between Einar Diaz now that Greene is gone. He'll make a solid $1 catcher who will sock half a dozen homers but won't get enough at-bats to kill your batting average.
Laird is the Rangers' best catching prospect since former first-round draft pick Scott Heard (who didn't hit above .300 as a senior in high school), but has been slow to develop. Laird arrived in the Carlos Pena/Mario Ramos swap and showed good patience and occasional pop at Double-A. He played a little in the outfield at Tulsa too, taking a page out of the Todd Greene Handbook. With Texas trading for Einar Diaz, Laird figures to spend all year in the minors, though he'd likely be called up should an injury hit to Diaz or Todd Greene.