Royals sign veteran catcher Austin Nola to provide depth behind Salvador Perez

Austin Nola
Posted at 10:43 AM, Feb 23, 2024

SURPRISE, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals signed Austin Nola to a contract for the 2024 season on Friday, adding a veteran catcher to provide some insurance behind Salvador Perez alongside young backup Freddie Fermin.

The 34-year-old Nola was released by the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday to make room for Gary Sanchez.

Nola appeared in 110 games for San Diego two years ago, hitting .251 with four homers and 40 RBIs. But he only hit. 146 with one homer and eight RBIs while appearing in 52 games for the Padres last season.

The Royals have little depth at catcher behind Perez and Fermin, though outfielder MJ Melendez can play the position. The only other catchers in big league camp are non-roster invitees Logan Porter, Tyler Cropley, Sandy León and Rodolfo Durán.

In a corresponding move, the Royals put Kris Bubic on the 60-day injured list. The left-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last April and threw his first bullpen session of spring training earlier this week.