Atlanta Braves' Tyler Flowers hits a three-run home run off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Photo: Matt Slocum/AP
Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

Braves retain Tyler Flowers for 2020

The Braves are keeping veteran catcher Tyler Flowers for 2020, an expected decision that’s all-the-more important following Brian McCann’s retirement.

Flowers had a $6 million club option with a $2 million buyout. The Braves’ decision was due Monday, when they opted to buy out the deal and re-sign Flowers for $4 million, paying him the same money had they picked up the option (the move saved $2 million on next year’s payroll).

MLB.com was the first to report how the Braves would handle Flowers’ contract payout.

The Roswell native hit .229/.319/.413 in 85 games last season, splitting duties with McCann. Flowers is lauded for his pitch framing prowess and clubhouse leadership.

When McCann announced his retirement following the team’s National League Division Series elimination, it increased the likelihood the Braves would retain Flowers. They simply lacked any internal options to replace him.

The team does have 2019 first rounder Shane Langeliers, a former college catcher who could debut as early as the middle of next season. But given the team’s postseason aspirations, it couldn’t afford to lose Flowers’ leadership and game management skills.

Flowers, who’s been with the Braves since 2016, has caught 85 or fewer games in three of the last four seasons. He’ll have a new backstop partner for the third consecutive season after working with McCann and Kurt Suzuki the past two campaigns.

The Braves will also announce their decisions on team options for outfielder Nick Markakis and starter Julio Teheran on Monday.

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