Back in November of 2007 the Mets agreed to a three-year, $14.4 million contract with free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba, only to nix the deal when a pre-signing physical exam raised concerns about his right shoulder.
Torrealba and the MLB players’ association later filed a grievance, but yesterday an arbitrator ruled in favor of the Mets, determining that the team had the right to void the contract due to the medical risk involved.
Torrealba went on to re-sign with the Rockies for $7.25 million over two seasons and then spent last year earning $1.25 million with the Padres, meaning the nixed deal cost him approximately $6 million. Brian Schneider took his place as the Mets’ primary catcher and hit just .244 with a .680 OPS while earning $9.8 million, so the deal didn’t work out particularly well for New York either.
Texas signed Torrealba to a two-year, $6.25 million deal this offseason and he’s expected to replace Bengie Molina as the Rangers’ starting backstop.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.