In a move to solidify a seemingly forever moving catcher position, the Atlanta Braves signed catcher Matt Pagnozzi to a minor league deal, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. With Brian McCann recovering from shoulder surgery, Gerald Laird is in line to takeover the catcher duties. And Pagnozzi will serve as his backup until McCann returns and order is restored.
McCann will be out for at least the first two weeks of the season, possibly a month, giving Pagnozzi a nice early taste of big league life during a career that's had a few bites but nothing too substantial so far.
The 30-year-old is a 10-year veteran of the minor leagues with 26 homers and 225 RBIs in more than 2,100 at-bats in 703 minor league games. In comparison, he's only had 83 at-bats on the major league level in 33 games, though he is hitting .310 in those at-bats.
"He's always been a catch-and-throw guy," said Braves assistant general manager Bruce Manno in the AJC. "I think the bat's improved a little bit, but his strength is still defense."
The Braves also re-signed catcher Jose Yepez to a minor league contract.