Torrealba signs with the Padres, costs himself a bunch of money

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He’s not quite in Russell Branyan territory, but we now know that Yorvit Torrealba cost himself a bunch of money by turning down a good offer early in the offseason.
Six weeks ago Torrealba reportedly turned down a two-year deal from the Rockies worth around $5 million, with talks apparently breaking up over a difference of $400,000 or so. Colorado quickly moved on, signing Miguel Olivo for $2 million, and that left Torrealba scrambling for work until he finalized a one-year deal with San Diego this afternoon.
ESPN.com’s Buster Olney has the details of Torrealba’s contract, which includes $750,000 in base salary for 2010 along with a $3.5 million mutual option or $500,000 buyout for 2011. In other words, odds are that Torrealba will end up making $1.25 million for one season before hitting the open market again next winter. So for a difference of about $400,000 he probably cost himself nearly $4 million.
Torrealba will probably feel better about his decision when Johnny Damon signs for $10 million less than the Yankees were offering, but $4 million is still $4 million.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.