Yorvit Torrealba: The final piece to the roster?

Here’s a story I wrote this morning. The deal is pending a physical and could be complete by the end of the day.

What are your thoughts on Torrealba as a backup catcher to Nick Hundley? To me, much like the Jon Garland signing, it’s the Padres taking advantage of two free agent who miscalculated the market.

Are you happy with Torrealba? Is he, in your mind, the final piece to the roster?

Corey Brock, MLB.com Twitter: @FollowThePadres

SAN DIEGO – The Padres’ roster construction continues as Spring Training approaches.

The newest addition is free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who on Friday agreed to a one-year worth $1.25 million guaranteed with a mutual option worth $3.5 million for 2011, a source said.

The deal isn’t yet official and is pending a physical.

The Padres were hopeful that they could sign a veteran catcher to spell Nick Hundley on occasion. They acquired Dusty Ryan from Detroit in December and were prepared to go to Spring Training with him as the backup.

But in Torrealba, they get a veteran who has appeared in 574 Major League games over a nine-year career and someone who knows the National League West Division well.

Torrealba, 31, is a career .255 hitter who hit .291 in 64 games last season with Colorado. He also led the team with a .488 average with runners in scoring position.

Torrealba, who spent the last four seasons with the Rockies, has also played for Seattle (2005) and San Francisco (2001-05) in his career.

Torrealba’s best season came in 2007 when he hit .255 with a career-high 101 hits, eight home runs and 47 RBIs for the Rockies.

Torrealba rejected a two-year, $5.6 million offer from the Rockies earlier this offseason, wanting a two-year deal between $6 million and $6.5 million. The two sides apparently disagreed over the option and buyout structure of the deal.

The Rockies declined to pick up a $4 million option on his 2010 contract, which made him a free agent.

San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer has had a busy few weeks.

Last month he acquired outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham from Oakland, signed two free agents (utilityman Jerry Hariston Jr. and starting pitcher Jon Garland) and signed Matt Stairs to a Minor League contract.


Is this a done deal? It sounds like the Giants, Blue Jays and Rockies are still after him. Just the fact that two of our division rivals want him badly (and we can still afford him) would make this a major coup for Mr. Hoyer. Offensively, Yorvit would be a major upgrade over Henry Blanco and quite possibly Nick Hundley. His knowledge of Western Division lineups and ability to handle a young pitching staff would be huge pluses. And there’s a lot to be said for having both of our catchers working with the staff from the very start of training camp, rather than claiming a stranger off of waivers right before the season starts. His only drawback seems to be throwing out base stealers. And we all know that his success in that department will be dependent on pitchers to hold them on and speed up their deliveries.

I love this signing. All spring the biggest worry in the end was what will the Padres do at backup catcher, lets hope not Dusty Ryan I thought. Lucky me, Jed got us a much more player than expected in Yorvit Torrealba. He really is a veteran we need. I see he has expierence with young pitchers in Jiminez, Rosales in Colorado. Much like the Padres are a youth movement so is Colorado so right there that says he will be good fit for the Padres pitchers. He can hit, he can defend. He is also a leader which is what you need with the young guys here. I believe this is the last piece of the puzzle for the Pads, unless I’m surprised with some minor league signings. It’s certainly going to be a better spring now with Yorvit Torrealba aboard. I feel much better. My only question is how will the coaches handle Torrealba’s playing time? Shouldn’t he be the starter since he’s never really been a backup in recent years? Plus, I cant imagine him coming over here just for money, you think? He must be okay with play 3-4 days a week, but I would prefer to see him as the starter personally just because thats all I know him as. He becomes a bench guy, this might put a drowning on his numbers and motivation. Maybe the Padre coaches will do catcher by committe?
None the less, its great we have two proven catchers here now and a roster that is fully complete besides a couple spots.


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