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Cervelli joins Braves, gets three hits, three RBIs


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Francisco Cervelli -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Francisco Cervelli did, indeed, sign with the Braves on Saturday afternoon following his release by the Pirates.

What's more, he suited up the same night in New York for his new team's 9-5 victory over the Mets, catching and batting seventh and going 3 for 5 with a two-run double and three RBIs.

“My only mission here is to win,” Cervelli told reporters at Citi Field. “I’m wired that way.”

Of going right back behind the plate despite his history of concussions, he said, “I was working at other positions and working very hard, but it’s boring for me. I’m not a baseball player. I’m a catcher. I’ve been doing it for 17 years, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

This was the official signing announcement:

Cervelli went to Instagram Friday to say goodbye, and thank you, to "my YINZ."


View this post on Instagram


A letter to the city of Pittsburgh (my YINZ)... The city that captivated my heart. When I think about you and try to express how I feel about you, I can't help but describe you as my home, my love, and my family. I have never felt so much love and respect as I have felt in this city. I remember the first time I encountered you in 2015, you made me a bit nervous, and I surely didn't know how to approach you, however, little by little you opened up your doors and taught me to embrace my passion, and connected me with the pure adrenaline and pride of the city of Pittsburgh. You saw me at my highest high and my lowest lows. You were always my safety net, protecting me from any falls... you are my one, the only... a city full of love. Pittsburgh, wearing your shirt made me feel like a super hero and you impacted me in ways you won’t ever understand, but the greatest impact you had on me was shaping me and loving me the way I am. You make me a true PIRATE .For that, I am forever grateful. I love you Pittsburgh. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, please don’t change. Stay passionate and full of love. Thank you to my teammates, you guys are special to me , and warriors no matter what. I love you all. Thank you to my coaches and management for the best time of my life. #412forever

A post shared by Francisco Cervelli (@fran_cervelli) on

Because the Pirates had requested unconditional release waivers, it was mandated that Cervelli wait through the 48-hour waiver process before signing with anyone. Atlanta is on the hook for a prorated portion of the league minimum salary, coming out to a little more than $110K. The Pirates will retain the rest of the remaining $11.5 million he is owed.

In Atlanta, Cervelli will return to the majors a little more quickly, join a pennant race and get a better opportunity for playing time. The NL East leading Braves placed catcher Brain McCann on the 10 day injured list on Aug. 21, meaning Cervelli will be sharing reps with Tyler Flowers. Clint Hurdle told reporters Thursday that if Cervelli would have returned to Pittsburgh, he would have been in a catching rotation with Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings.

This has been a challenging year for Cervelli. After setting career highs in on-base percentage (.378) and home runs (12) in 2018, he slashed just .193/.279/.248 in 34 games this season. He has not suited up for a major league game since May 25 when he suffered the sixth concussion of his major league career. After a lengthy rehabilitation process, Cervelli started a minor league assignment on Aug. 10, where he has hit .421/.542/.684 in six games played in Class AAA.

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