Oscar Villarreal Rumors
We'll track the day's minor league signings right here:
- The Red Sox announced five minor league signings, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal: Mitch Maier, Terry Doyle, Drew Sutton, Oscar Villarreal, and Jose De La Torre.
- The Diamondbacks have signed a handful of players to minor league contracts, adding left-handed pitchers Rommie Lewis and Eddie Bonine along with Kila Ka'aihue, Humberto Cota, and Brad Snyder, tweets Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com. All five guys have Major League experience at some point in their careers.
- Jeremy Reed also received a minor league contract and an invite to spring training from the Diamondbacks, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (via Twitter).
We'll keep track of the day's minor signings, trades and claims right here:
- The Orioles agreed to sign right-handed reliever Josh Rupe to a minor league deal, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The 28-year-old appeared in 11 games for the Royals in 2010, posting a 5.59 ERA with eight strikeouts and seven walks in 9 2/3 innings. The 2002 third-rounder also posted a 2.92 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 52 1/3 Triple-A innings.
- The Mariners signed right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, left-hander Chris Seddon and outfielder Mike Wilson as minor league free agents, according to the team. All three players receive invitations to big league Spring Training. Petit, who turned 26 yesterday, has a 5.57 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 229 1/3 big league innings over the course of four seasons. He last pitched in the majors for the 2009 D'Backs.
- The Dodgers added right-handed reliever Oscar Villarreal as a non-roster invitee, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times. The 29-year-old hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2008, but he has logged 336 innings in the major leagues. He has a respectable 3.86 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 258 appearances.
We're kicking off a new series here at MLBTR called GM Initiation. Each post in the series will look at a general manager's first trade.
Josh Byrnes was hired as Diamondbacks GM on October 28th, 2005. His first deal came on December 7th at the Winter Meetings. Byrnes and Braves GM John Schuerholz agreed on a deal to send catcher Johnny Estrada to Arizona for relievers Oscar Villarreal and Lance Cormier. Estrada went on to have a solid '06 campaign for the D'Backs and was used in a trade to acquire Doug Davis after the season. Both relievers pitched two seasons for Atlanta, with Villarreal posting better numbers.
Byrnes was kind enough to answer a few questions about his first trade.
MLB Trade Rumors: 2005 marked your first Winter Meetings as a general manager. How would you describe the experience?
Josh Byrnes: The 2005 Winter Meetings were busy. We were exploring many trades to reshape the roster. It was our first time together as a larger group in that type of setting.
MLBTR: Did you enter the '05 Meetings intent on acquiring a starting catcher? About how many different catchers were you seriously considering?
MLBTR: What kind of relationship did you have with Braves GM John Schuerholz prior to the Estrada deal? How long did it take to put the trade together?
Byrnes: I knew John a little bit. The trade came together fairly quickly. We had a few discussions at the meetings and agreed after a few conversations.
MLBTR: Does the Estrada trade hold significance for you, since it was your first acquisition? Is the significance diminished because you were such an active trader that month?
Byrnes: I said at the time that the deal carried some significance to me because we did it with John. Certainly, he is one the best (if not the best) GM’s of all time. He is also very passionate about the game and the industry, so it is memorable to have made my first trade with John.
The Phillies signed pitcher Oscar Villarreal to a minor league deal, tweets Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. Villarreal, 28, signed with the Royals before last season but eventually developed the need for Tommy John surgery. He threw for teams on Friday, with the Phillies, Red Sox, Rockies, and Diamondbacks in attendance.
Villarreal's upside is limited, as he's prone to the longball and has a 1.75 career K/BB.
Links for Friday...
- Heyman tweets that the Angels and Dodgers could pursue Garret Anderson.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets are falling behind in their attempts to sign John Smoltz.
- As Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes, Theo Epstein says the Red Sox do not have a policy against negotiating extensions during the season.
- The Red Sox, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Rockies watched Oscar Villarreal throw today, tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
- An MLB executive tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that Jermaine Dye turned down $3.3MM from the Cubs before they signed Xavier Nady for the same price (Twitter link).
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that money may prevent the Nationals from signing Orlando Hudson. Adam Dunn believes Washington is Hudson's first choice.
- The club could go after Adam Kennedy if Hudson signs elsewhere, tweets Ladson.
- The Blue Jays have money, but aren't going to spend for the sake of spending, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- In case you'd like more on the Johnny Damon-Yankees drama, SI's Jon Heyman talked to the player and GM.
- Alex Rodriguez was "staring at retirement right in the face" last March when diagnosed with a torn labrum in his hip, he told Kim Jones of the YES Network Wednesday night.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders if aging players are the new market inefficiency.
- Cameron compares Jason Bay to Josh Willingham and concludes that the two outfielders are pretty similar.
- In an interview with SNY's Kevin Burkhardt last night, Mets GM Omar Minaya insisted he has full autonomy. Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't buy it.
- U.S.S. Mariner's Dave Cameron tweets of rumblings that the Royals and Mariners have discussed Alberto Callaspo.
- The Red Sox signed catcher Gustavo Molina to a minor league deal, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford. Molina, 28 in February, hit .209/.233/.308 for the Nationals' Triple A club last year.
- Larry Granillo of Wezen-Ball digs up the true story behind Andre Dawson, the Cubs, and the blank check in '87.
- Twins lefty Glen Perkins explained his grievance to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- White Sox GM Ken Williams said that the club proposed a long-term deal to Bobby Jenks before signing him to a one-year contract, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).
- Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski admitted that they were "probably too liberal in giving long-term contracts to players," tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck. However, Dombrowski did say they want to sign Justin Verlander, presumably long-term (via Beck's Twitter).
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan tweets that there's a strong chance the sale of the Rangers could be completed today.
- At his introductory press conference, Cliff Lee said he was hoping to be wowed by Seattle and the Mariners, and if he is, he would be open to re-signing there according to Larry Stone of The Seattle Times. When asked about his next contract, Lee joked "I want a 10-year deal for about 200 billion. Nah, I don't know."
- Tom Gage of The Detroit News writes that the Tigers have five lefty relievers on their roster, so don't be surprised if one of them gets traded. Bobby Seay might be the most vulnerable of the five (despite being the most established) because he'll make $2.475MM in 2010 and lefties hit him better than righties last year.
- ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to several people in the game about the Mets picking up Gary Matthews Jr., and the general thought is that he "can't hit for average, can't hit for power, his defense ranks statistically among the worst outfielders in the majors, and, to top it off, rival scouts have been reporting that in recent years he has been a clubhouse negative."
- Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald has some quotes from Red Sox principal owner John Henry about the team's offseason.
- Free agent reliever Oscar Villarreal will throw for teams next Friday, tweets Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. He last pitched in the majors back in 2008 with the Astros.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Royals have signed right-hander Oscar Villarreal to a minor league contract.
The deal is worth $400K and includes an invitation to spring training. Villarreal, 27, posted a 5.02 ERA in 37 2/3 innings for the Astros last season. He can request his release if he's not on the Royals' 25-man roster by May 15 or June 1.
Taking a look back at this week's happenings here on MLBTR...
- The biggest move of the month was the Diamondbacks' acquisition of slugger Adam Dunn for Dallas Buck, Micah Owings, and Wilkin Castillo. I can't remember any August trades of this magnitude.
- Bronson Arroyo told the media Dunn would be seeking over $100MM this offseason; Dunn denied the report wholeheartedly. I'd be surprised to see him get $100MM, but I also certainly don't think it would be the worst signing we've seen in the past few offseasons.
- The Red Sox acquired Paul Byrd from the Indians. Boston will pay the remaining portion of Byrd's salary. Byrd has been very good lately, and you can never have too much pitching depth. Not a bad move for Boston, in my opinion.
- The Twins were very active in discussions this week, though nothing surfaced as of yet. Minnesota claimed Jarrod Washburn off waivers from Seattle, but a deal wasn't worked out. Boof Bonser and salary relief was originally thought to be the offer, but that report was later denied. Passing a chance to unload Washburn's salary makes no sense to me. The Twins also claimed Alan Embree from Oakland, but he was pulled back.
- Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league contact with the Tigers. They must have liked what they saw at his audition. If he can return to be as effective as he was in his Chicago days, that would be a great signing. Nice low-risk move for Detroit.
- We've seen a lot of teams signing their young talent to long-term deals, but it looks like San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum will not be one of them. He'd prefer to go year-to-year.
- Minor moves happening around baseball: The Reds DFA'd David Ross, the Blue Jays released Shannon Stewart, and the Twins signed Bobby Kielty to a minor-league deal. The Giants DFA'd Jose Castillo, and Richie Sexson's time in New York was cut short when he was released after just 35 plate appearances. The Rockies added another arm, signing Oscar Villareal.
- And now, for the draft-pick signings! Here are all the signings and not-signings teams made with their top picks this week: The White Sox signed Gordon Beckham, the Orioles signed Brian Matusz, the Padres signed Allan Dykstra, the Rangers signed Justin Smoak, the Giants signed Buster Posey, the Pirates signed Pedro Alvarez, the Royals signed Eric Hosmer, and the Reds not only signed Yonder Alonso, but Venezuelan outfielder Yorman Rodriguez as well. The Nationals failed to sign Aaron Crow, and the Yankees failed to sign Gerrit Cole.
- And to cap things off, since we just covered a bunch of guys who probably weren't even alive when Jamie Moyer first started pitching in the Majors... he didn't deny the possibility of pitching until he's 50. He's 45 right now with 11 wins and an ERA of 3.64, who knows?
According to Jack Etkin of the Rocky Mountain News, the Rockies signed reliever Oscar Villarreal to a minor league deal today. The Rox will have Villarreal under contract for '09, mostly paid for by the Astros. I hadn't realized Villarreal signed with the Mariners after being designated by Houston. He opted out of that contract when the Ms didn't bring him to the Majors by August 8th.
Villarreal's strikeout and groundball rates slipped this year, leading to a 5.02 ERA in 37.2 innings. He's been worked pretty hard at times in his career.
Today's random linkage.
- Correction to the Justin Duchscherer post - he only has one more arbitration year, not two. He's set to reach free agency after the '09 season.
- Rob Neyer points us to a quality interview with Yankees beat writer Tyler Kepner over at NoMaas.org.
- MLB.com's Jim Molony says the Marlins have renewed interest in Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras.
- LEN3 thinks the Twins need a reliever more than anything.
- Dave Cameron wonders if Matt Kemp is overrated.
- Craig Brown of Royals Authority examines the team's trade candidates.
- The Padres' Paul DePodesta runs through his team's top trade candidates as well as general considerations in trading.
- The Dodgers are close to signing their first-round pick, Ethan Martin.
- Oscar Villarreal refused the Astros' assignment to the minors and may be released. Also at this link, the Astros have an offer out to first round pick Jason Castro.
- The Indians signed Bryan Bullington, the Pirates' first overall pick in '02.