According to Baseball America, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed minor league catcher Nate Irving, who was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks in October. The 23-year-old was a 34th round pick in 2014 and spent two seasons in short-season A-ball. In 2015, he hit 276/.378/.316 in 24 games. During his two seasons of pro ball, he is just 3-for-21 in throwing out runners. At his age and experience, his likely role will be a backup at any of the lower level teams, possibly going wherever he is needed.
During this time of year, we should hear about the Pirates signing a few more catchers similar to Irving. Teams need extra catchers during Spring Training and some of them will be gone before the season even starts. The Pirates were short a few catchers from the end of the season with Wilkin Castillo, Sebastian Valle and Francisco Diaz signing elsewhere, plus Kawika Emsley-Pai retiring. They also released Tony Sanchez last week. They have only signed one minor league free agent catcher this off-season, so you’ll likely hear about 2-3 more catchers besides Irving being signed before Spring Training starts.