Padres sign three to minor league deals including Abraham Almonte

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: MiLB

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.

Now, in 2020, Almonte is back with San Diego on a minor league deal. Signing minor league deals as well are catcher Charlie Valerio and right-hander Chase Johnson.

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.

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Jason Freund
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.

5 thoughts on “Padres sign three to minor league deals including Abraham Almonte

  1. Ok,i take it myers had trouble,but what is sad is his by poler condition.maybe bring on a good sycolagist or a shrink .there are several on this team that are very mental.hedges ,hosmer,refro was another one.sad he is gone ..i belive with will if he would keep his feet on the ground and square up to the plated ,he would have much better timing.hosmer,hedges,mires ,are all behind the ball.none of them are mel ott. Last note .move hosmer and put myers back at first.this guy has been bounced around like a super ball.right when he gets going ,they put him in another position .its hard for him , being bypolar. Now hosmer ,trade him ,he has more value and reduces salary. I say this year in being a realist 80 and 82 will be there record .if there get a kevin brown type stopped in a trade. Maybe a little better.

  2. Here’s the REAL problem. When you start doling out millions of dollars in long term contracts, you immediately take performance incentives away from players. Hosmer and Myers are both set for life now, regardless of what they do between the white lines going forward. This is not just a Padres problem, it happens all over Major League Baseball.

    Neither player is terrible. Hosmer is a pretty average first baseman who isn’t worth anywhere close to what he’s making. Someone like Lucas Duda or Matt Adams would be just as good, and way cheaper. Myers can be pretty damned good when he gets on a hot streak and stays healthy.

    I’m hopeful that some of the new players and the managerial change will help drive improvement in 2020. Manny is practically going to have his own coaching staff, so we shall see.

  3. Everybody scoffs at this I’m sure, but it doesn’t hurt to try. As I see it, you have about 23MM, due to one useless player. This is the Wil Myers debacle. I have the solution, but nobody seems to acknowledge it. Give him 1% ownership in the team. In exchange for “retirement.” He gets more than his contract is worth, and you get him off the books. Make it that he cant sell his percentage, without offering it back to ownership first. The price would be at market value, and all benefit from this. He would be better to take the offer, as the way he plays, my pitbull Sally Jo could do better. With this done, I’d also shop Hosmer, maybe with another player, say Margot, and see what develops, maybe toss in a 6 or 7 rond pick also. We then have about 46MM freed up for better than what we currently have. So, thats the pragmatical solution, but effective.

    1. Myers is owed $68.5 mil over the rest of his contract. For him to be induced to retire he would have to be given 5% of the team, since the club is valued at $1.4 billion. This is like being bothered by an unruly toenail and deciding to chop off one’s foot. Perhaps that explains why no one seems to acknowledge your “solution”.
      As to “shopping” Hosmer, people are still laughing about this contract. There is no way, no way, attaching Margot and a prospect will persuade a team to pay a negative WAR player $100+ million over the next 6 years. Either we bad contract-swap him out or we are stuck with him. Unless you are going to suggest we “give” him Petco Park in exchange for his retirement.

    2. A better solution is this: because the owners agreed to these horrible contracts, including one of the dumbest-at-the-time-and-beyond (Preller’s Folly), then THEY have to lose that amount. It is ALL on them, not the team. The Padres team does not need, at all, to “limit” its payroll to $140 million (give or take), as is often declared, the owners simply take the loss, WHICH THEY SHOULD.

      Now you just added $40+ million!

      As for Myers, he really is not that bad (especially when compared to Hosmer), he has played poorly/below his talent level, and he has a bloated contract. But he is not that bad, AND he could easily come back around…IF given steady playing time, and with a good manager and good GM.

      Hosmer is another matter. The team would be instantly better if he was just cut from the team. However, he could provide some value, perhaps, but only if he played about 40% of the time, and ONLY against righties. Also, if he experienced consequences (bench-time) for his horrible play, then perhaps this could help motivate him to work on his swing, his defense, etc.

      All of that makes perfect sense, and is easy to do (regardless of the outcome).

      For what it is worth, teams cannot trade draft picks.

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Total Views: 547 ,
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Jason Freund
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.