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Team Italy catcher Francisco Cervelli signed by Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins and Team Italy catcher Francisco Cervelli have reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth $2 million. The 33-year-old Italian-Venezuelan made his MLB debut with the New York Yankees in 2008 when he played alongside current Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and special adviser Jorge Posada. 2009 proved to be a monumental year for Francisco Cervelli as he played for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic and won a World Series ring in his second season with the New York Yankees.

Francisco Cervelli played two of his seven years in pinstripes as the backup to Russell Martin from 2011-2012. In 2013 Francisco Cervelli took over the reigns behind the dish from Russell Martin, who departed for a two-year stint playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Francisco Cervelli later served as the replacement for Russell Martin in 2015 when the Canadian-born catcher left to play for his hometown Toronto Blue Jays. Francisco Cervelli soon became a fan favorite in Pittsburgh. He proudly represented Team Italy for the second time in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Of his five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2018 stood out as one of the most productive as Francisco Cervelli hit .259 with 15 doubles and 12 home runs in 104 games.

Francisco Cervelli signed with the Atlanta Braves on August 24, 2019. Batting seventh in his debut on the same day of his signing as the replacement for injured catcher Brian McCann, he helped the first-place Atlanta Braves win their seventh consecutive game with three hits, including two doubles, and three RBI in a 9-5 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field. Francisco Cervelli came up big during Atlanta’s postseason bid. Playing excellent defense behind the plate in 14 games, the veteran catcher was also a clutch performer offensively with five doubles, two homers, and a respectable .281 batting average.

Francisco Cervelli will report with pitchers and catchers at Miami Marlins Spring Training on February 12, 2020. It is expected that he will be the backup to Marlins starting catcher Jorge Alfaro behind the plate. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti