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12/02/11 1:00 PM EST

Tribe signs catcher Pagnozzi to Minors deal

29-year-old appeared in 12 games in '11 for Rockies and Pirates

CLEVELAND -- The Indians added to their catching depth on Friday, signing free-agent Matt Pagnozzi to a Minor League contract that includes a non-roster invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club.

Cleveland's big league catching situation is currently set with Carlos Santana as the starter and Lou Marson serving as the backup. As things currently stand, Luke Carlin and Michel Hernandez will also be in camp as non-roster invitees this spring.

Pagnozzi, 29, adds another catcher to the mix to handle the high volume of pitchers who will be on hand when Spring Training begins. He also potentially gives the Indians another option for Triple-A Columbus, which cycled through six catchers last season.

Pagnozzi -- a nephew of former Major League catcher Tom Pagnozzi -- appeared in 12 big league games last season between stints with the Rockies and Pirates, hitting .276 with three RBIs overall. He spent the bulk of the year with Triple-A Colorado, splitting his time behind the plate and at first base.

Pittsburgh claimed Pagnozzi off waivers after he was designated for assignment by Colorado on Sept. 11.

In 54 Minor League games last season, Pagnozzi hit .275 with three homers and 29 RBIs and posted a .337 on-base percentage. He was an eighth-round selection of the Cardinals in 2003 and enjoyed cups of coffee with St. Louis in each of the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Overall, Pagnozzi has appeared in 33 Major League games in the last three years.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.