SAN DIEGO -- The Padres added four players to their 40-man roster on Wednesday while dropping four others in preparation for next month's Rule 5 Draft.
One of the spots went to pitcher Josh Johnson, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $8 million earlier in the day, and the Padres added three Minor Leaguers in left-handed pitcher Juan Oramas and right-handers Keyvius Sampson and Donn Roach.
To make room, the team designated four players for assignment -- three with Major League service time in pitchers Brad Brach, Miles Mikolas and outfielder Jaff Decker. Minor League pitcher Jose De Paula was the fourth.
Brach was 3-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 109 games over the past three seasons with the Padres. Mikolas was 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 27 games for the Padres over the last two seasons, though he appeared in only two games in 2013.
Decker, the 42nd-overall pick in 2008, hit .154 in 31 plate appearances with San Diego last season. His first Major League hit was a home run against Colorado on Aug. 12. De Paula was 4-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 14 starts for Double-A San Antonio.
"When they're hard [decisions], it's good for the organization," said Randy Smith, vice president of player development and international scouting. "No one likes to lose good guys who can help, but the fact that you're trying to squeeze too many guys into a 40-pound bag is a good thing."
Also on Wednesday, the Padres dealt infielder Dean Anna to the Yankees for right-handed pitcher Ben Paullus. Anna led the Pacific Coast League with a .331 batting average for Triple-A Tucson, though he didn't fit in the organization's plans.
Paullus, 24, had a combined 3.01 ERA in two Minor League stops this past season in the Yankees' farm system. He has a 4.34 ERA over his three professional seasons with 145 strikeouts in 149 1/3 innings. He will likely begin 2014 with Class A Lake Elsinore of the California League.
Roach, 23, was 8-12 with a 3.53 ERA in 28 starts for the Texas League-champion San Antonio Missions in 2013.
Sampson, 22, recently finished pitching in the Arizona Fall League, where he allowed one run in 11 1/3 innings. He had a combined record of 12-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 28 games between Tucson and San Antonio.
Oramas, 23, recovered quickly from 2012 Tommy John surgery, going 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 12 starts in San Antonio. He is currently 5-1 with a 3.18 ERA in seven starts for Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League.
Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they then become eligible to be taken by other organizations in the Rule 5 Draft. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons.
Clubs pay $50,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, slated to take place on Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. If the player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $25,000.
In other words, an international player or high school Draftee signed in 2009, assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year, must be protected. A college player taken during the 2010 Draft is in the same boat.