Padres manager Andy Green mentioned early Wednesday that his team could use a veteran catcher to back up starter Austin Hedges.
Wednesday night, on the eve of the first workout for the team’s pitchers and catchers, the team signed veteran A.J. Ellis to compete for that spot, a source said.
The 36-year-old Ellis will be in camp as a non-roster invitee. The 10-year veteran is best known for his deftness calling a game. He spent the first 8½ years of his career with the Dodgers, the final month of 2016 in Philadelphia and last season with the Marlins.
Ellis will join Hedges, Luis Torrens, Rocky Gale, newcomer Raffy Lopez, Austin Allen and Stephen McGee as the catchers in major-league camp. Ellis, Torrens, Gale and Lopez are in the running for the second catcher’s spot. Ellis’ 606 career games are 497 more than the combined major league experience of the other three.
The Padres are also seeking experienced depth at shortstop.
Free agent acquisition Freddy Galvis played in 162 games last year, but minor league journeyman Dusty Coleman and Rule 5 draft pick Allen Cordoba are the only other players in camp with big league experience at shortstop, and Cordoba likely is headed for more minor league seasoning.
Padres add catcher A.J. Ellis, still seek shortstop depth
San Diego Union-Tribune | Feb 15