Yorvit Torrealba Rumors

National League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

11 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll group them in this post.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 65 Type A/B free agents and their decisions in real-time, click here.

Odds & Ends: Padres, Choo, Willis, Guillen

Links for Monday night. with just one day remaining for teams to determine whether to offer arbitration to their ranked free agents…

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.

Padres Rumors: Gonzalez, Torrealba, Eckstein

The Padres exercised their 2011 option for Adrian Gonzalez today and saw Yorvit Torrealba and Jon Garland turn down their sides of their respective mutual options. Here's the latest on those three players, plus other updates on the Padres' offseason plans:

  • The Padres will meet with the agent for Gonzalez, John Boggs, this week, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (on Twitter). Presumably the meeting will help the sides determine whether a long-term deal is possible. It certainly doesn't seem likely.
  • Torrealba told Hayes that he'd love to return to San Diego, but is seeking a two-year deal (Twitter links).  The catcher is a Type B free agent, so the Padres could get a draft pick if they offer arbitration and Torrealba turns it down to sign elsewhere.
  • David Eckstein, a free agent, probably won't return to the Padres in 2011, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock.
  • Brock points out that Jon Garland will likely make more on the open market than he would have with the Padres (Twitter link).

Torrealba Declines Mutual Option

Catcher Yorvit Torrealba has declined his side of his mutual option with the Padres, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  The option, which was for $3.5MM, still pays a $500K buyout to Torrealba.

Torrealba, 32, hit .271/.343/.378 this year in 363 plate appearances for the Padres.  He caught 795.6 innings, with Nick Hundley taking the rest.  Torrealba threw out 37% of baserunners, his best mark since '06.  He's a solid regular in a free agent market with about eight of them.  Torrealba is a Type B free agent, so the Padres could get a draft pick if they offer arbitration and he turns it down and signs elsewhere.

Marlins Rumors: Uggla, Catchers, Managers

The Marlins don’t have a permanent manager and Dan Uggla is nearing free agency so Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill have some franchise-defining decisions to make this offseason. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has the details:

  • Dan Uggla’s representation has asked for a deal worth about five years and $58MM, but the Marlins are offering fewer years and less money. They’d prefer to work out a three-year deal and are offering just over $8MM per season. Uggla, who will be eligible for free agency after 2011, makes nearly that much this year and he’ll earn a raise through arbitration next year, so the Marlins don’t appear to be offering much of a deal.
  • The Marlins say they would like to add a top catcher and they’ll consider alternatives to John Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Yorvit Torrealba, Bengie Molina, John Buck and Miguel Olivo will be considerations for Florida if they hit the open market, but Victor Martinez probably won’t be a fit. The Marlins could also have interest in Jason Varitek and Rod Barajas as part-time options.
  • Rafael Soriano’s expected salary demands have priced him out of the Marlins’ plans.
  • The Marlins will consider Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres first base coach Rick Renteria and Padres bench coach Ted Simmons as they search for their next manager. Interim manager Edwin Rodriguez could keep his job and it doesn’t seem likely that the team will resume talks with Bobby Valentine, who was once considered the frontrunner for the gig.
  • The Marlins would have interest in Ozzie Guillen if he were available, but the White Sox skipper is under contract in Chicago next year. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that Guillen wants assurances that the White Sox want him to be their long-term manager. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf would prefer to keep Guillen around than search for a new manager, so Guillen could get the security he’s looking for.

Odds & Ends: Abreu, Torrealba, DeRosa, Strasburg

Links for Thursday, as we await an Opening Day rematch between Josh Johnson and Johan Santana

Odds & Ends: McClung, Aurilia, Lincecum, Brewers

Links for Wednesday…

Padres Sign Yorvit Torrealba

The Padres signed Yorvit Torrealba to a one-year $1.25MM deal that includes a mutual option for 2011. The catcher, who passed his physical today, will earn $750K this year. There's a $500K buyout on a $3.5MM mutual option for the following season. 

Torrealba, 31, hit .291/.351/.380 in 242 plate appearances for the Rockies last year, catching 545.3 innings.  Torrealba split time last year with a solid young catcher in Chris Iannetta, and he'll do so again this year with Nick Hundley.

We learned on Monday from Olney that despite an offer in hand from San Diego, Torrealba hoped to engage the Mets.  However, the Mets may be done spending.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported that the sides were nearing a deal and followed up with the terms of the contract, all on Twitter. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweeted that Torrealba passed his physical.

Yorvit Torrealba Has Padres Offer

Catcher Yorvit Torrealba "has a one-year offer from the Padres in hand," tweets ESPN's Buster OlneyOlney adds that Torrealba "would like to engage the Mets, but to this point the Mets have indicated they don't have any money available to make something happen."  Previous reports had indicated the Mets were turning to Torrealba after missing out on Bengie Molina, despite Torrealba's grievance against them.  With question marks at catcher and in the rotation, Mets fans have to hope the team isn't out of money.

That said, the free agent catching market is bleak: Torrealba, Rod Barajas, and Jose Molina are the most notable names.