The Brewers signed veteran catcher Austin Nola to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league camp, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reported Friday afternoon.
The Brewers have signed C Austin Nola to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league camp. The 34-year-old became a free agent when the Padres non-tendered him in November.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 5, 2024
McCalvy also noted that the addition of Nola gives the Brewers five catching options heading into spring training: William Contreras, Eric Haase, and Jeferson Quero are all on the 40-man roster, while Nola and Brian Navarreto are both non-roster invitees.
Nola, a fifth-round pick by the Marlins in 2012, has spent parts of five seasons with the Mariners and Padres after debuting in 2019 with Seattle. In 345 career MLB games, he’s hit .249/.326/.370 (96 OPS+) with 24 homers and 136 RBIs.
After a solid 2022 season where he appeared in a career-high 110 games and helped the Padres reach the NLCS, Nola appeared in just 52 games in 2023, hitting .146/.260/.192 (30 OPS+) with one homer and eight RBIs.
With Contreras set to once again take the bulk of the team’s catching duties in 2023, Nola will seemingly compete with Haase for the backup role in spring training as the team hopes to give Quero, still only 21, another year to develop in the minor leagues.