Braves sign catcher Pagnozzi for depth

NASHVILLE — The Braves signed catcher Matt Pagnozzi to a minor league deal and plan to have him serve as Gerald Laird’s backup until starter Brian McCann returns from shoulder surgery.

McCann is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the season and possibly a month. Laird was signed last month after backup David Ross left the Braves for Boston and a two-year, $6.2 million free-agent contract too good to pass up.

Pagnozzi, 30, is the nephew of former St. Louis Cardinals Gold Glove catcher Tom Pagnozzi, and has spent a decade in minors with a few cups of coffee in the majors with St. Louis, Colorado and Pittsburgh.

He has a .310 average with one homer in 83 plate appearances in 33 major league games, and Pagnozzi is a .220 career hitter with a .300 OBP, 26 homers and 225 RBIs in more than 2100 at-bats in 703 minor league games.

“He’s always been a catch-and-throw guy,” said Braves assistant general manager Bruce Manno, who was with the Cardinals when they drafted Matt Pagnozzi. “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. Yepez, 31, has a .270 average and .356 OBP in 12 minor league seasons, and hit .264 with 20 extra-base hits (three home runs) in 79 games for Triple-A Gwinnett in 2012.

“We feel real comfortable with our depth at catcher,” Manno said.

64 comments Add your comment

Francisco Treat

December 4th, 2012
10:36 pm

First Pagnozzi, then Ellsbury!

Ken Stallings

December 4th, 2012
10:49 pm

Seems like a player who’ll be released when McCann returns. He’s more the backup for the backup to McCann!

Doug

December 4th, 2012
10:50 pm

Yeah baby! World series here we come!!!

BUGGSEY

December 4th, 2012
10:57 pm

NOW! Trade Mcan’t while we can..

Who Me?

December 4th, 2012
11:10 pm

It’s “Money Ball” all over again. Who’s the fat guy running the numbers behind Wren??

The American Dream

December 4th, 2012
11:48 pm

Who Me?: Why don’t you crawl back into the filthy cave you came from. I bet you tend to be the fat guy in front of a lot of ballers. You are such a dirty freak. I saw you at the Ted last year. You were so wasted. And that girl that was with you was filthy. You keep rolling the way you do.

For the folks who don’t know Who Me? he is the guy who started all the bottle throwing last year.

Zac in Tempe

December 5th, 2012
12:25 am

The bottles are all plastic these days, Holbrook’s lucky Braves fans don’t bring 9 volts to the games.

braveslover

December 5th, 2012
12:31 am

Well we certainly have a plethora of backups now with Pastornicky, Janinsh, three catchers, and another bullpen arm. Can we now get a stud left fielder?

Buddy Landel

December 5th, 2012
6:04 am

Saw Pags play many a game for the Palm Beach Cardinals. Has worked VERY hard to get where he is. One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.

Bravo Uno

December 5th, 2012
6:33 am

.220 career hitter; he should nicely fit in

Mr Pitts

December 5th, 2012
7:12 am

What’s the WAR on Pagnozi?

CJ

December 5th, 2012
7:12 am

Were these really our goals at the winter meetings? I know that the ground work is laid in these meetings and I hope they are being kept secret. This is a weak winter meetings. Dangling 2 young starters with a positive future ahead and not even an offer of anything we’re looking for. Oh well, maybe something before or by spring training.

Mr Pitts

December 5th, 2012
7:12 am

What’s the WAR on Pagnozi?

jeffrey d

December 5th, 2012
7:50 am

My gosh, quit talking like signing a third string catcher is all the Braves are going to do. It was a necessary position, and Wren filled it. Stop complaining.

RTS

December 5th, 2012
8:15 am

The 15 Mil per season for Upton does not seem so bad now based on the kind of money Pagan and Victorino got. No way they are worth the kind of money they recieved. I see why Wren was looking elsewhere because they wanted too much $$$$$

Samurai Squirrel

December 5th, 2012
8:27 am

Erin

December 5th, 2012
8:28 am

Still kind of skeptical with that LF rumors. Lately I have been here Raji Davis or Bonifocio from the Blue Jays or Jacoby Ellsbury? Lets just get something done the 11′ Ellsbury would be great if he is healthy.

anotherdawg

December 5th, 2012
8:42 am

Agreed RTS. Wren receives alot of criticism for not spending what it takes to get the absolute studs out there, but I think he’s done a pretty good job of getting good players with the budget he’s been given to work with. Starting pitching and the bullpen look to be solid. If we can acquire a little more offense, without sacrificing the future, who knows. In fairness to Wren and the Braves, only move I’ve had a problem with is losing Ross. With McCann hurt, I would have spent the money to keep him. But, they got the best available, and they are not done yet.

64 year Ct. Braves fan

December 5th, 2012
8:45 am

Get bold – Trade Teheran, Ahmed, and McCann for Justin Upton. He wants to leave Arizona and lets
keep him away from the Phillikes.

Metro Coach

December 5th, 2012
8:53 am

The D’backs are not going to accept Ahmed as the SS in a deal with the Braves. He’s not ML ready. They wouldn’t take McCann either, because he’d never resign there when he can get big money on the FA market. Let J. Upton go folks, the price is too high.

Brave New World

December 5th, 2012
8:56 am

Small moves help a team as well as big moves – this is a team that won 94 games in 2012, so even though some like to take cheap shots, let’s assume Mr. Wren knows what he’s doing. And let’s also assume some on these blogs are clueless.

reckingball

December 5th, 2012
9:19 am

@8:56am………….”And let’s assume some on these blogs are clueless.”
Reading the comments, it is quite obvious, that ‘a lot’(of people)……”on the blogs are clueless.”

bill

December 5th, 2012
9:19 am

don’t you think its interesting that Holbrook went two rounds further in the playoffs than the Braves?

mad~catfish

December 5th, 2012
9:38 am

ryan ludwick! ryan ludwick! ryan ludwick! ryan ludwick! ryan ludwick! ryan ludwick!

John w

December 5th, 2012
9:40 am

Why is Gattis left out of all these plans????

[...] Braves sign catcher Pagnozzi for depth [...]

Brown

December 5th, 2012
11:14 am

Oh my god, the Braves signed a minor league catcher to a minor league contract . . . the sky is falling! Burn Wren at the stake now before he can inflict more damage on this team in Nashville!

Lost Cause

December 5th, 2012
11:47 am

Some of you guys are funny … the others not so much. I still think they should target a platoon 3B with the Francisco dough boy, such as Chris Johnson from ARZ, and leave Prado in LF. Or just let prado have 3B, pay for Reed Johnson and let him, schafer, and Gatis play left. Save your money for the trade deadline.

Or trade Wil Meyer!

BUGGSEY

December 5th, 2012
12:36 pm

I think something else is in the works like a block buster type trade involving McCann..Heard a rumor

cornjolio

December 5th, 2012
12:57 pm

LORENZO CAIN !

david thompson

December 5th, 2012
1:25 pm

CHEER-UP EVERYONE– WE HAVE GOT ANOTHER SEASON WITH A FAILED OFFENSE THAT CANT HIT A STOP SIGN WITH A BOAT PADDLE TO LOOK FOWARD TO.

david thompson

December 5th, 2012
1:31 pm

I HAVE BEEN A BRAVES FAN FOR YEARS BUT I THINK I WILL LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR SOMEPLACE SPEND MY MONEY. IF THE BRAVES ORGANIZATION DONT WANT TO SPEND MONEY TO PUT A POTENTIL WORLD SERIES ON THE FEILD —–WHY WOULD I WANT TO SPEND MONEY SUPPORTING THEM.

david thompson

December 5th, 2012
1:31 pm

I HAVE BEEN A BRAVES FAN FOR YEARS BUT I THINK I WILL LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR SOMEPLACE SPEND MY MONEY. IF THE BRAVES ORGANIZATION DONT WANT TO SPEND MONEY TO PUT A POTENTIL WORLD SERIES ON THE FEILD —–WHY WOULD I WANT TO SPEND MONEY SUPPORTING THEM.

gordonguy1969

December 5th, 2012
2:06 pm

David Thompson – No need to yell, but at least you should spell!

gordonguy1969

December 5th, 2012
2:08 pm

Oh, and by the way David, I’ve been a Braves fan since they arrived in Atlanta and I’ve seen how bad things can be. We are no where near the bottom.

MRG

December 5th, 2012
2:34 pm

David, they obviously are spending money. You know they just signed a player for over $15 million a year, right? And they’re going to trade for a left fielder. You’re acting like the Braves are the Pirates or the Marlins or something, but they’re not. You may disagree with some of their moves, but they’re certainly not penny pinching. They’re right around the middle of the pack in payroll, not sitting at the bottom or something.

FL dawg

December 5th, 2012
2:50 pm

McCann coming off yet again another injury. Ross and McCann togeather were worth what Boston gave Ross. ATL should have stepped up and paid Ross. McCann and anybody else make the Braves the easeast team to steal on in the NL.

Pete

December 5th, 2012
3:03 pm

what’s with all the hate McCann comments. Before he injured himself at the end of July 2011 he was the best young catcher in baseball I feel like he will return to the good play when he gets over the injuries he’s had the last 1 1/2 seasons. Have a little patience people.

Trader Jack

December 5th, 2012
4:33 pm

“end of July 2011 he was the best young catcher in baseball ” – Pete on Brian McCann

McCann is no longer young & Buster Posey has held that title since 2010

McCann should be DHing in the AL

jbill

December 5th, 2012
5:14 pm

right on Trader Jack..agree.

Brave1

December 5th, 2012
6:59 pm

I like the moves that Wren has made. He has been pragmatic…

Prediction – twe’ll trade one of our Minor Leaque Aces and package him for a starting left fielder. If not – it meant that the price was too steep.

Go Braves!

Brave1

December 5th, 2012
6:59 pm

I like the moves that Wren has made. He has been pragmatic…

Prediction – twe’ll trade one of our Minor Leaque Aces and package him for a starting left fielder. If not – it meant that the price was too steep.

Go Braves!

Brave1

December 5th, 2012
6:59 pm

I like the moves that Wren has made. He has been pragmatic…

Prediction – twe’ll trade one of our Minor Leaque Aces and package him for a starting left fielder. If not – it meant that the price was too steep.

Go Braves!

Nelson

December 5th, 2012
7:01 pm

What is wrong with Cristian Betancourt???????

Denny Lemaster

December 5th, 2012
8:30 pm

Wren was on the Baseball MLB tonight. He said his main thing was a LF that could lead off. Period. That was his priority. He said he would play Prado at 3B. As a last fall gap, put Prado back in LF and use the guy they used last year, Francisco as the 3Bman, whom he said is tearing up the Dominican league. Whoooo boy.

The Rap

December 6th, 2012
12:36 pm

As far as Justin Upton goes we just need to get a 3rd team involved to get a SS that is ready to play regularly. Asdrubel Cabrera could be that guy. I like Wren a lot and he is carrying on the tradition of not saying anything ala John Schuerholtz. We may have to wait for spring training so the Braves can get a better gauge of the readiness of and ability of Teheran, DelGado, Graham or Gilmartin. Another piece of value to deal is Christian Betancourt who is being touted as our future catcher but hasn’t proven himself with a bat yet.

sadeci0

December 6th, 2012
12:36 pm

I doubt we can get what McCann’s worth because he’s coming off shoulder surgery, so I doubt there will be any deal with him. I think he’d be best off trying his hand at 1B somewhere else. I don’t know if he’d retain value as just a DH.

I’d take Fowler, Rajai or Bonifacio at this point – either should come cheaper than Ellsbury, who has at best a 50% chance to stay relatively healthy. If we can get one of those guys, and only give up 1 of our top 2 pitching prospects, I’ll be happy. I wish we could have sent Hanson to actually fill a hole we have, but I still like the Walden deal. Had to cut our losses with Hanson, send him to the AL, and hope the best for him.

sadeci0

December 6th, 2012
12:37 pm

*any* should come cheaper

Camagual

December 6th, 2012
2:07 pm

Bad management. First, Ross should have been signed; that was a terrible mistake; we will see the Braves falling behind in the division in April playing with those two catchers. Then trading Hanson for another reliever, and the GM tells us that now we have a great bullpen, NOW? The Braves had a great bullpen already. This guy definitely underestimate the fans. I hope at least he got rid of Hanson’s salary and use that money to sign a leadoff LF.

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

Steve

December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Much ado about nobody. I want to hear about the Braves doing something significant, like hiring the other Justin brother! HELLO! Make a splash! Go for the gusto! Grow a set! Try for another World Series! Otherwise, I really don’t care!

[...] of being paid to manage at least two more after the team picked up a 2014 opt more… Braves sign catcher Pagnozzi for depth – blogs.ajc.com 12/05/2012 NASHVILLE — The Braves signed catcher Matt Pagnozzi to a [...]

gotigers72

December 10th, 2012
8:22 am

WHEW! When I saw the headline for this column, I thought Wren had really gone off of the deep end. The only Pagnozzi that I knew was Tom, and I knew he had to be drawing Social Security. I didn’t think he and his walker could fit behind home plate, at least with all of the catching equipment and everything. As good of a catcher as he was back in the day, I figured his skills had to have deteriorated somewhat.

Steve

March 5th, 2013
7:53 pm

Pagnozzi is a decent signing. Point simply, he is probably better than a number of catchers we have started thru the years, much less the backups. Braves fans have gotten spoiled and obviously do not remember the lean years.

He won’t hit much but he is probably better defensively than Laird or McCann. With this offense we don’t need a big bat behind the plate folks .. what we need is a defensive standout.

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