by Myron Logan

On Friday, Jed Hoyer and the Padres signed veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a one year, $1.25 million deal, with a mutual option in 2011.

Assuming $3.5 million per win, the Padres are paying Torrealba like a .3-.4 WAR player. That is probably a slight bargain for Torrealba, who, as a part time catcher, has averaged about .8 WAR a year over the last three years.

While the contract is fine and Torreabla actually adds something at catcher for the Pads, he’s obviously by no means a difference maker.  He’ll be 32 years old and his wOBA has hovered around .300 in hitter-friendly Colorado. He hits the ball on the ground a lot — about 55% of the time — which might help to ease the transition to Petco, though generally is not a good sign for a slow-moving catcher.

What has to be applauded about the deal, though, is that rather than overpaying for a veteran catcher, Hoyer and company, if anything, underpaid on the free agent market. You could argue, like I have before, that they would have been better off going with someone making the minimum, and putting the $1.25M to use elsewhere. But, if it’s going to be spent on this year’s roster, at least it is being spent effectively.