Pirates to release veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli

Pirates to release veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates are parting ways with veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli, who has been hampered by multiple concussions this season.

The club announced Thursday it requested unconditional release waivers for the 33-year-old Cervelli. He’s played just 34 games this season.

Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington says the club wants give Cervelli – who recently completed a rehabilitation assignment – an opportunity to sign with another team rather than sit the bench.

The last-place Pirates have split the catching duties between Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings. Cervelli is in the final season of a three-year, $31-million contract extension he signed in 2016.

He spent four-plus seasons with Pittsburgh after being acquired in 2014 in a trade with the New York Yankees. He hit .295 in 130 games in 2015 for a team that won 98 games and reached the National League playoffs for the third straight year.

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