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Padres add catcher Torrealba to roster

Padres add catcher Torrealba to roster

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 deal worth $1.25 million guaranteed, with a mutual option worth $3.5 million for 2011, according to a source.

Torrealba took a physical on Monday. The deal was made official on Tuesday.

To make room for Torrealba on the 40-man roster, the Padres gave relief pitcher Greg Burke his unconditional release. Burke was 3-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 48 games for the Padres last season.

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 who knows the National League West well.

The 31-year-old 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 past four seasons with the Rockies, has also played for Seattle (2005) and San Francisco (2001-05).

His best season came in 2007, when he hit .255 with a career-high 101 hits, eight home runs and 47 RBIs for Colorado.

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.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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