Padres complete trade for Rule 5 pick Torrens

Friars send VanMeter, cash to Reds for catcher

December 9th, 2016

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Padres and Reds have finalized the trade that sent Rule 5 Draft pick to San Diego -- and the details are quite telling.

On Friday, San Diego sent infield prospect Josh VanMeter to Cincinnati as the player to be named in the deal, which netted Torrens -- one of three acquisitions in an eventful Rule 5 Draft. VanMeter isn't a highly touted prospect by any means, but he showed plenty of promise at Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.

His inclusion in the deal would seem to signal that the Padres are confident Torrens will remain at the big league level for the entire season. If he doesn't, Torrens could be offered back to the Yankees, his original club -- meaning the Friars would essentially lose VanMeter for nothing.

In eyes of the Padres, who also sent cash to the Reds in the trade, the risk is worth it.

"You want to be able to bring in as many catching options as possible," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "It's really hard to find catching prospects, so we felt like this was a creative way to try to add one into the system."

Torrens, whose selection was pushed by Padres scout Tyler Tufts, has reportedly shown some big-time potential behind the plate -- both with his arm and his pitch-framing abilities. At the plate, he's got work to do, however. And there's some concern that a season in the Majors might slow his development.

Torrens missed all of the 2015 season and part of '16 after surgery to repair a torn labrum. He's never recorded more than 227 at-bats in a year, and he could certainly use a full season's worth of playing time. He won't get that in San Diego.

But there could very well be room for him on the roster as a third catcher. is the presumed starter, and is being groomed to become a super-utility man -- possibly even one who can pitch. Bethancourt's versatility could clear room for Torrens.

"He's a guy that, overall, has a chance to be a quality receiver, throwing out runners," Preller said. "He can control the strike zone and has a good swing. You're always looking for catching."

Indeed, the Padres are still in search of another catcher to provide some depth. But Friday's completion of the trade indicates they're confident the 20-year-old Torrens will be ready for the show in 2017.