Catcher Austin Nola Signs Minor League Deal With Milwaukee Brewers

Austin Nola of the San Diego Padres heads off the field in the game against the Chicago Cubs at PETCO Park on June 4, 2023 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Catcher Austin Nola signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers for 2024, Adam McCalvy, the Brewers beat writer for MLB.com, reported on January 5. 

Nola is listed as a non-roster invitee to spring training, along with catcher Brian Navarreto. The Brewers have invited five catchers to spring training: Nola, Navarreto, plus William Contreras, Eric Haase and Jeferson Quero, who are on the 40-man roster. 

Nola, 34, was born in Baton Rouge, La., and has played five seasons in Major League Baseball with the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. 

Nola elected free agency on Nov. 17, 2023 prior to signing with the Brewers. 

Last season, Nola competed for playing time at catcher with Gary Sanchez and Brett Sullivan in San Diego. 

During the 2023 season, Nola played in 52 games with the Padres and batted .146 in 154 plate appearances, recording 19 hits, three doubles, one home run, eight RBI, 18 walks, 31 strikeouts, and a .452 OPS. 

According to Nick Deeds of MLBTradeRumors.com, Nola was diagnosed last September with oculomotor dysfunction, “an issue that impacts the brain’s ability to coordinate eye movement and comes with symptoms such as fogginess and headaches.”

Nola also played in Triple-A El Paso during 2023 and batted .185 in eight games with five hits, one double, two RBI, three walks, and eight strikeouts. 

Nola caught 387 innings in 2023, starting in 45 games and getting 381 chances, 359 putouts, 21 assists, one error, turning four double-plays and posting a .997 fielding percentage. He threw out eight runners stealing and had 39 stolen bases against him. 

In 2022, Nola played in 110 games with the Padres and batted .251 in 397 plate appearances with 87 hits, 15 doubles, four home runs, 40 RBI, 34 walks, 60 strikeouts, and a .649 OPS. 

In five seasons, Nola has played in 345 games with a lifetime average of .249 in 1,196 plate appearances, with 261 hits, 51 doubles, two triples, 24 home runs, 136 RBI, 107 walks, 207 strikeouts, and a .696 OPS. 

The Brewers will play their first game in spring training on February 24 against the Padres at 3:10 p.m. EST on the road at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Ariz.

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