Padres Add Bullpen Depth

Sign Three Players To Minor League Contracts

Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is a machine. After all the trades, the signings, the additions and subtractions, Preller struck again on Saturday, signing another 3-time All-Star.

This one didn’t get the same kind of fanfare as some of the Padres other additions, though. The All-Star in question is relief pitcher Jose Valverde.

The man they call Papa Grande agreed to a minor league contract with San Diego. He’ll try to earn a roster spot out of Spring Training.

Valverde has led the Major Leagues in saves for three different teams (the Diamondbacks, Astros and Tigers) but has slowed down considerably the last couple of seasons. Valverde, who will turn 37 in March, has only saved 11 games and thrown 40 innings over the last two years.

The Padres added two more relievers on minor league contracts on Saturday. Former Dodgers lefty Scott Elbert, who has overcome three elbow surgeries, agreed to come south from Los Angeles while former Cubs righty Marcos Mateo, who last appeared in a big league game in 2011, will try to earn a spot in the Padres bullpen. Elbert is 29 and Mateo is 30, so while they don’t have a ton of MLB experience, they are veterans who have put up solid minor league numbers.

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