The Padres today announced a list of players that will be in camp as non-roster invitees, with utility players Tim Lopes and Rangel Ravelo among them, indicating that they have been signed to minor league deals.
Lopes, 29 in June, got into 94 major league games over the 2019-2021 period with the Mariners and Brewers. In that time, he hit .246/.310/.352 for a wRC+ of 85. Though that offensive production was 15% below league average, he contributed in other ways by stealing 11 bases and taking the field at second, third and the infield corners. He was outrighted by Milwaukee after 2021 and elected free agency, signing a minor league deal with the Rockies for 2022. He got into 73 games on the farm for them and hit .276/.339/.476 for a wRC+ of 100. He also stole 11 bases and suited up at the three infield position to the left of first base as well as the outfield corners.
Ravelo, 31 in April, got a taste of the majors with the Cardinals in 2019 and 2020. He hit .189/.250/.351 in a small sample of 42 games while playing first base and the outfield corners and was non-tendered at the end of the latter campaign. He signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers for 2021 and crushed it in his first 26 Triple-A games, producing a batting line of .407/.504/.758. He then signed with the NPB’s Orix Buffaloes but only got into two games that year. In 2022, he got into 24 contests with the Buffaloes but hit just .138/.296/.207. More recently, he’s been playing for the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, hitting .324/.441/.514 in 32 games.
Both players will give the Padres a little bit of extra non-roster depth. Lopes has a bit more positional versatility but Ravelo has occasionally impressed a bit more at the plate. The Padres have a fairly stacked lineup but their bench might feature some relatively inexperienced options in Brandon Dixon, José Azocar and Matthew Batten. Injuries are also inevitable and depth pieces will surely be required throughout the season. If either player cracks the roster at any point, they each have between one and two years of service time, meaning they could be affordably retained for the foreseeable future. Lopes also has a couple of option years, though Ravelo has exhausted his.