The Brewers finally got involved in offseason transactions by signing two minor league free agents today. Both infielder Irving Falu and catcher Matt Pagnozzi have signed minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.
Falu, 30, has spent his entire career in the Kansas City Royals organization. He was a 21st round draft pick in 2003 out of an Iowa community college. He spent a little over 3 years at AAA Omaha before making his major league debut in 2012. He spent most of 2013 with Omaha again before being called up in September. He's currently playing winter ball in his native Puerto Rico for Indios de Mayaguez (along with Martin Maldonado and Hiram Burgos) and he's batting .200 in 55 AB right now. Falu is a switch hitter but even more importantly he plays almost all the positions. His primary position now is third base but he played second base, shortstop and right field this season and has played the other outfield positions before. He has been playing 2B for Mayaguez this last month. He doesn't catch or play first base, but we can't have everything. Those positions are what the other player signed today is for.
Pagnozzi, also 31, started his career in the Cardinals organization and made his major league debut with them in 2009. He's also played in the Rockies, Pirates, Indians and Braves organizations, seeing some big-league time with the Rockies and Pirates. His last stop in September was Houston; the Astros purchased his contract from the Braves at the beginning of that month. He played in 9 games this season and hit .143. Pagnozzi bats right but doesn't seem to use it much; his lifetime minor league batting average over 11 seasons is .219 with a .297 OBP. He seems to be around as this year's version of Blake Lalli and perhaps insurance if Adam Weisenburger doesn't pan out at the AAA level. Robinzon Diaz is the other half of Nashville's projected catching team this year, but Diaz's other position is third base. Pagnozzi's is first base. The trend with the Brewers at the AAA level is to have players who play multiple positions; Diaz, Eugenio Velez and Sean Halton are proof of that and here are two more who can fill in at multiple spots.