SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced they have signed right-handed pitcher Carlos Villanueva to a one-year Major League contract for the 2016 season. In addition the club has also selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Ryan Buchter to the 40-man roster and have granted right-handed pitcher Marcos Mateo his release from the 40-man roster for the purpose of playing in the Japanese Central League in 2016. Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller made the announcements.
Villanueva, 32, went 4-3 with two saves in two opportunities to go along with a career-best 2.95 ERA (20 ER, 61.0 IP) and 55 strikeouts against 21 walks over 35 relief appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015. A veteran of 10 Major League seasons from 2006-15 he played previously played for the Milwaukee Brewers (2006-10), Toronto Blue Jays (2011-12), Chicago Cubs (2013-14) and Cardinals (2015). Originally signed by the San Francisco Giants as a non-drafted free agent in 2002, he has gone 49-53 with a 4.18 ERA (429 ER, 924.2 IP) and 801 strikeouts against 309 walks in 425 career games, 76 starts. As a reliever over his 349 career relief appearances he has gone 31-20 with 10 saves, a 3.47 ERA (193 ER, 500.0 IP) and 494 strikeouts against 181 walks.
Buchter, 28, was signed by the Padres to a minor league contract this off-season. The left-hander split the 2015 season between Triple-A Oklahoma City and Triple-A Iowa in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs organizations, going a combined 2-0 with a 1.78 ERA (10 ER, 50.2 IP) and 62 strikeouts against 25 walks over 43 total relief appearances. Originally signed by the Washington Nationals as a 33rd-round selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, he made his Major League debut for the Atlanta Braves in 2014, working 1.0 scoreless inning of relief in his lone Big League outing. Over parts of nine minor league seasons in the Nationals (2006-08), Cubs (2009-11, 2015), Braves (2011-14) and Dodgers (2015) organizations he has gone 34-18 with a 3.26 ERA (174 ER, 479.2 IP) and 583 strikeouts against 315 walks over 370 games pitched, two starts.
Mateo, 31, split the 2015 season between the Padres and Triple-A El Paso, going 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA (12 ER, 27.0 IP) in 26 games for San Diego and 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA (6 ER, 32.0 IP) in 25 games for the Chihuahuas. He will play for the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese Central League in 2016.
With today's transactions the Padres currently have a full 40-man roster.