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Crew agrees with pair of pitchers, Minors free agents

Crew agrees with pair of pitchers, Minors free agents

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Crew agrees with pair of pitchers, Minors free agents

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers agreed to terms on 2014 contracts with 40-man roster pitchers Donovan Hand and Michael Olmsted, and also dipped into the Minor League free-agent market for the first time.

The club announced it signed catcher Matt Pagnozzi and infielder Irving Falu to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training camp, Milwaukee's first signings from outside the organization this winter. The club had previously re-signed seven of its own Minor League free agents.

Pagnozzi, 31, has appeared in 42 big league games over parts of four seasons for four teams -- the Cardinals, Rockies, Pirates and Astros -- and is a career .219 Minor League hitter in 11 seasons, appearing at the Triple-A level every year since 2007. He is the nephew of former All-Star Tom Pagnozzi.

Falu, 30, was released by the Royals just before Thanksgiving. He played 11 seasons in the Royals' system but only appeared in 25 Major League games -- 24 in 2012 and one in 2013. He has primarily played shortstop and second base.

Per club policy, the Brewers did not announce contract terms for Hand or Olmsted, each of whom is a so-called "zero to three" player shy of arbitration eligibility. Clubs can sign such players for the salary of its choosing, as long as it exceeds the Major League minimum. The Brewers use a set system that rewards Major League statistics and awards, so Hand, who posted a 3.69 ERA in 31 Brewers appearances in 2013, likely earned a salary slightly higher than Olmsted, who spent the season in the Minor Leagues.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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