Torrealba Cutting Ties With Padres

The Padres view Nick Hundley as their starting catcher of the future, and Yorvit Torrealba isn't looking to take a diminshed role or salary. While the 32-year-old had already declined his side of a $3.5MM mutual option, he further confirmed his bachelorhood in a phone interview with Carlos Alberto Gonzalez of Lider en Deportes (link in Spanish) yesterday, saying:

"It's not very likely that I'll continue with the Padres, because they want to reduce payroll and they're offering me much less than I had hoped; in fact, they want to give me less than I made this year."

And it's not just his own case that soured Torrealba on the Padres. He also questioned the team's approach to its star players, saying, "It seems like they want to get rid of Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell." In the short term, Torrealba said his agent will be at the winter meetings this week trying to wrangle a two-year deal, preferably from a National League team. His former team the Rockies are the only NL team he noted as having called him thus far, while from the American League he has received queries from the Mariners, Rangers, and Red Sox.

In platoon duty with the Rockies and Padres over the last two years, Torrealba has shown he can still get on base at around a .350 clip and respectably control the running game. He threw out 37% of would-be base stealers last season in just under 800 innings, his best marks in both categories since 2007 and 2006, respectively. Torrealba generally shows more power against right-handed pitching, but his OBP has actually been higher against left-handers in three of the last four seasons, and his .698 OPS against lefties this season was higher than a number of higher-profile regulars, including fellow free agent A.J. Pierzynski.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes sees Torrealba taking over first-string catching duties from Russell Martin in Los Angeles, though a reuinion of the Torrealba/Chris Iannetta platoon that put the Rockies near the top in catcher OPS leaguewide in 2008 and 2009 could also be interesting. However, if the catcher has his eyes on something closer to a full-time role than he had in San Diego, one of the AL squads he mentioned could be his best bet. On the Padres' side, they have one more week to offer Torrealba arbitration and potentially earn another draft pick if the catcher—who is a type B free agent—follows through and signs elsewhere.


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21 Comments on "Torrealba Cutting Ties With Padres"


wickedkevin
4 years 9 months ago

Those be fightin’ words

jordan
4 years 9 months ago

could he be a good plan B if the sox dont get v-mart?

4 years 9 months ago

Torrealba tired visibly and struggled down the stretch for the Padres. He is a 60 game starter now. Beyond that he is ineffective.

4 years 9 months ago

I could see the mariners.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 9 months ago

The Mariners certainly could use him.

4 years 9 months ago

Bring Yorvi back to CO

4 years 9 months ago

I hate to say it now that John Buck has signed with the Marlins but…Red Sox?

wickedkevin
4 years 9 months ago

Might as well just bring back Tek.

redsox4120
4 years 9 months ago

That’s what I’m saying! Everyone is talking about trading for a catcher or starting Salty, why not resign tek and let him start and work with Salty? That’s, of course, if they fail to resign vic.

wickedkevin
4 years 9 months ago

At this point, it doesn’t seem like there is a better option. Who knows what could happen, but as of the FA market, just take back Tek.

0bsessions
4 years 9 months ago

Did you sleep through 2008 and 2009? Jason Varitek is not a starting catcher anymore. He posted WARs of less than 1 the last three years, posted awful offensive numbers, can’t block the plate anymore, can’t throw runners out and is 39 years old. Varitek SHOULD have retired years ago.

I love the guy and appreciate everything he did for us in his prime, but I would sooner start just about anyone not named Kevin Cash over Varitek at this point. I don’t think Torrealba’s the answer or anything, but Varitek? No, no, a thousand times no. Salty himself is most definitely a better option than Varitek at this point. Varitek’s questionable as even a backup as he can’t defend for crap and all he contributes is home runs.

flickadave
4 years 9 months ago

Just curious, how much value do WARs give to a catcher’s ability to call a great game? Tek seemed to be thriving in the backup role last year until he broke his foot. I’m not saying that he is the catcher that he was in his prime, but I think you could find a lot worse players to mentor Salty and help bring him along faster (and better). Yeah, he can’t leg out a triple like Bengie Molina but Tek isn’t useless.

0bsessions
4 years 9 months ago

Backup, maybe, if we can’t get a better option. Thing is, some of these guys are saying make Salty the backup and start Varitek, which the last three seasons have proven is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. At his current rate of regression, Varitek’ll be lucky to get on base over the Mendozza line next year.

As for thriving as a backup, that’s a bit exaggerated. Varitek only had eighteen plate appearances after breaking his foot, so that still leaves him with pretty awful numbers outside of his slugging percentage as a backup, too (An OBP below .300). A more accurate statement to him thriving as a backup would be to say he thrives out of the gate. He did the exact same thing in 2009 and, to a lesser extent, 2008. In 2009, he put up an OPS around .850 in April/May and then his OPS got worse every subsequent month (Same thing in 2010 before the injury). In ’08 he started off cool, raked in May and then spent the rest of the season not being able to hit his way out of a paper bag.

Varitek is simply toast. Love the guy’s past accomplishments, but it’s time to cut the cord and move on. He can’t hit, he can’t defend. He’s basically Wily Mo Pena behind the dish at this point: if a righty throws him a heater right down the middle, he’ll hit it a ton, but if there’s even a little break on it, he’s screwed.

flickadave
4 years 9 months ago

I totally agree that Varitek’s time as a lead catcher is over but to say that he is “simply toast” I don’t think is accurate. Tek still calls a great game and I would love to see what effect his being behind the dish has on a pitcher’s ERA. I have yet to see a stat that incorporates a catcher’s game calling skills.

As for thriving out of the gate, yes he has been much better with the bat at the start of the last few seasons compared with the end of the season. That’s probably because his legs get fried and all of the nicks, bumps, and bruises from catching every day take their toll. That is why I think that his OPS was better last year when he was getting a lot more rest in between starts. I think the same would be true this season.

We aren’t talking about an everyday player here. We are talking about a guy that would play once every 5 days or maybe 3 times every 10 days. He is the team captain. He is still a very positive force when it comes to the pitching staff and I think he would be the perfect guy to help groom Salty because he knows he is nearing the end of his career and wouldn’t be fighting for playing time so he could teach Salty everything he knows and not undercut his future with the team.

I don’t think it would hurt the Sox to bring him back for 1 more year.

0bsessions
4 years 9 months ago

Backup, maybe, if we can’t get a better option. Thing is, some of these guys are saying make Salty the backup and start Varitek, which the last three seasons have proven is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. At his current rate of regression, Varitek’ll be lucky to get on base over the Mendozza line next year.

As for thriving as a backup, that’s a bit exaggerated. Varitek only had eighteen plate appearances after breaking his foot, so that still leaves him with pretty awful numbers outside of his slugging percentage as a backup, too (An OBP below .300). A more accurate statement to him thriving as a backup would be to say he thrives out of the gate. He did the exact same thing in 2009 and, to a lesser extent, 2008. In 2009, he put up an OPS around .850 in April/May and then his OPS got worse every subsequent month (Same thing in 2010 before the injury). In ’08 he started off cool, raked in May and then spent the rest of the season not being able to hit his way out of a paper bag.

Varitek is simply toast. Love the guy’s past accomplishments, but it’s time to cut the cord and move on. He can’t hit, he can’t defend. He’s basically Wily Mo Pena behind the dish at this point: if a righty throws him a heater right down the middle, he’ll hit it a ton, but if there’s even a little break on it, he’s screwed.

flickadave
4 years 9 months ago

Just curious, how much value do WARs give to a catcher’s ability to call a great game? Tek seemed to be thriving in the backup role last year until he broke his foot. I’m not saying that he is the catcher that he was in his prime, but I think you could find a lot worse players to mentor Salty and help bring him along faster (and better). Yeah, he can’t leg out a triple like Bengie Molina but Tek isn’t useless.

4 years 9 months ago

any guesses as to what his arbitration cost is? I say, if it is no more than $3 mil than they should offer arb and take the risk.

Gumby65
4 years 9 months ago

If Torrealba’s out there very long (longer than it takes for LA to make a decision on Martin) then he may very well be perused by LA. Barajas at 35 may be easing into the “frequently played backup” and AJ Ellis is hardly the “catcher of the future” at 30 years old in 2011. The Dodgers had allegedly been keeping tabs on John Buck and Miguel Olivo.

Tno24
4 years 9 months ago

‘Vit was solid for the Padres this year. The reason I loved him wasn’t mentioned in this post, and that’s his handling of our young pitching staff. The rotation had a lower ERA when he was behind the plate if I remember correctly.

TapDancingTeddy
4 years 9 months ago

Yorvit made $750k last year. As others said he is a good catcher for 50 to 75 games, or in other words, a high quality backup.

There should be a lot of interest from teams who are unsure about the number of games they can get from their starter and he should be able to top last year’s pay pretty easily.

hawkny1
4 years 9 months ago

Oh nooooooooo!