The San Diego Padres signed three players to a minor league contract.
In July of 2014, the San Diego Padres traded Chris Denorfia to the Seattle Mariners for another outfielder in Abraham Almonte.
In parts of two seasons with San Diego, Almonte hit 243/.293/.336 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 163 at-bats. In the outfield, Almonte was mainly a center fielder, but he made starts at the corners.
Almonte would eventually be traded to the Cleveland Indians for Marc Rzepczynski, precisely one year after the initial Seattle trade. After his release from Cleveland in 2018, Almonte played sparingly in two years with the Kansas City Royals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Johnson was a third-round pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2013 and split the 2019 season between three levels of the Giants’ farm system. In 80 2/3 total innings, Johnson pitched to a messy 4.69 ERA and 1.59 WHIP while striking out 75 batters and walking 42.
The 27-year-old looked marginally better at Double-A Richmond, where he pitched 60 innings with a 4.05 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and a 3.34 FIP. He struck out 50 batters against 26 total walks.
Valerio signed with the Indians in 2010 as an international free agent but only made it as far as Double-A Akron before being released in 2014.
The 29-year-old switch-hitter played in the American Association of Independent Baseball from 2015 to 2018 before signing with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League. Valerio hit 262/.296/.416, with 11 homers in 109 games.
While he has experience at first base, Valerio spent 95 games behind the dish in 2019 while throwing out 28% of would-be base stealers (39 out of 101 attempts).
None of the players are expected to make the major league roster. Multiple players in the outfield block Almonte, Johnson will be grappling with many others for what could be one open spot in the San Diego bullpen, and Valerio will most likely start the season with minors.
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show “Picked Off”, for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.