Yorvit Torrealba will be playing for the Texas Rangers next season. He signed a 2 year contract worth $3 million in 2011 and $3.25 million in 2012. Torrealba will now be the starting catcher in Texas and will take over for Bengie Molina.
That will give the Padres another supplemental draft pick in the upcoming draft. The Padres already have received a draft pick for Jon Garland signing with the Dodgers.
Torrealba brought leadership, a strong arm, and clutch at bats to the Padres. He also handled the pitching staff really well and gave Nick Hundley a mentor during the season. The Padres feel that Hundley is ready to take on the starting duties for the friars and he will go into the season as the starter. The Padres are still looking for a veteran backstop to bring in to be a backup.
There are some possibilities through free agency that the Padres may look at. Bengie Molina and AJ Pierzynski are available but are most likely looking to get a starting role somewhere. There are a few former Padres that we may look at: Henry Blanco, Miguel Olivo, and Josh Bard. Of those 3, I would only really like Olivo, and he probably would rather stay in Colorado to boost his hitting numbers.
Here are some of the catchers that are available:
Rod Barajas (35)
Josh Bard (33)
Henry Blanco (39)
Gerald Laird (31)
Bengie Molina (36)
Miguel Olivo (32)
A.J. Pierzynski (34)
Matt Treanor (35)
Jason Varitek (39)
Gregg Zaun (40)
There are a few names on this list that I would rather see starting on our team instead of Hundley. I wouldn;t even mind using Brad Ausmus, our recent hire as a special assistant put a slash on that role and add backup catcher to it! Blanco would be a decent backup and Varitek has ties to GM Jed Hoyer from his Boston days. I think Rod Barajas would be a good pickup for us to split time with Hundley.