The Brewers lost backup catcher Manny Piña to the World Series champion Braves

Todd Rosiak
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Catcher Manny Pina gets a huge raise to join the Braves on a deal worth $3.5 million next season and $4.5 million in 2023.

The Milwaukee Brewers' longest-tenured player is moving on.

Catcher Manny Piña signed a two-year, free-agent deal worth $8 million with the Atlanta Braves on Monday, the Braves announced.

Piña, 34, will make $3.5 million next season and $4.5 million in 2023. The Braves hold a $4 million team option for 2024 with no buyout.

He made $1.165 million with the Brewers last season.

"Manny did a great job here," said president of baseball operations David Stearns. "He was our longest-tenured player and someone who contributed on and off the field in meaningful ways.

"We wish him well and we are happy for him and his family."

Piña hit .189 in 75 games last season (52 starts) as the backup to Omar Narváez but also hit 13 home runs and drove in 33 runs while compiling an OPS of .732.

The majority of Piña's production came in the second half of the season after he hit just .132 in his first 37 games.

Piña's greatest value to the Brewers was defensively due to his great familiarity with Milwaukee's pitching staff and strong throwing arm (team-best 27.8% success rate throwing out baserunners last season).

Nicknamed "Pineapple," he was also a popular player in the clubhouse and with Brewers fans, with his rendition of the Eagles' "Hotel California" a few springs ago becoming a viral sensation.

Piña came to the Brewers as the player to be named in the December 2015 trade that sent closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Detroit Tigers.

He debuted with the Brewers on Aug. 1, 2016 and in 404 games slashed .245/42/146/.729.

The loss of Piña leaves the Brewers short-handed behind Narváez, with No. 3 catcher Luke Maile having been outrighted and electing free agency on Nov. 4.

Mario Feliciano, Milwaukee's top catching prospect, moves up to No. 2 on the organizational depth chart despite having played just one game in the major leagues.

A shoulder injury limited Feliciano to 39 games this past season (32 at Class AAA Nashville), but he's played well to this point in the Arizona Fall League.

"As the offseason unfolds, we will continue to evaluate external catching options to add to our catching unit," Stearns said.