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12/17/08 10:00 AM EST

Tigers close to inking Treanor

Veteran catcher would serve as backup to Laird

The Tigers entered the offseason in need of two catchers, and just over a week before Christmas, it appears that search is coming to a close.

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the Tigers are close to signing backup catcher Matt Treanor to a one-year contract worth a little more than the $705,000 base salary he made with the Marlins last year.

The report also revealed an announcement could arrive as early as Thursday.

Treanor, 32, would back up Gerald Laird, who was acquired last week in a trade with the Rangers that sent two pitching prospects to Texas. Dusty Ryan, the only other catcher on the Tigers' Major League roster, will likely start the season in the Minor Leagues, according to the Free Press report.

Treanor became a free agent last week during the Winter Meetings, when the Marlins released him in order to clear a roster spot needed for the Rule 5 Draft the next day. The Marlins had spent the better part of a month attempting to trade the catcher, but were unsuccessful.

Treanor has a .237 batting average over 274 career games, spanning five seasons. He played in 65 games in '08, batting .238 with two homers and 23 RBIs.

Treanor and Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski have a history together. Dombrowski traded for Treanor in 1997 and was a Class A catcher in the Marlins' organization.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.