Portland native Ryan Flaherty has signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, the team announced Monday.

Flaherty, 31, a Deering High alumnus, became a free agent this winter after serving as the Baltimore Orioles’ chief utility player for the past six years. He has a career batting average of .215 with 35 home runs. With runners in scoring position, he has batted .261.

With the free agent market dragging, Flaherty settled for a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, with an invitation to major league spring training.

In exhibition games, he batted .351 in 37 at-bats. But Flaherty had an opt-out clause in his contract if was not placed on the major league roster, and he exercised that option last week. There was speculation that the Orioles would re-sign Flaherty, but instead he was in the Braves’ lineup Monday evening as they played an exhibition in Atlanta against the New York Yankees.

Flaherty, who throws right and bats left, projects to be one of two utility players for Atlanta, along with the right-handed hitting Charlie Culberson, who was obtained from the Dodgers.

With the Braves, Flaherty is being reunited with his former Orioles teammate and brother-in-law Nick Markakis.

Flaherty played only 23 games last season with the Orioles, missing nearly three months with a right shoulder strain. He saw action at every infield position except first base, as well as in left and right field.

The Braves play a series in Boston on May 25-27. Flaherty has a career .308 average at Fenway Park.

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