The Padres have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.5MM deal with righty Carlos Villanueva, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. Villanueva is represented by Relativity Sports.
The 32-year-old Villanueva spent the 2015 campaign with St. Louis, where he worked in a multi-inning relief role, logging 61 innings across 35 appearances. With the Cardinals, he worked to a very strong 2.95 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 42.4 percent ground-ball rate. Villanueva stranded an inordinate amount of baserunners, prompting sabermetric ERA estimators like FIP, xFIP and SIERA to peg him more for an ERA in the mid- to upper-3.00 range, so a repeat of that sub-3.00 ERA might not be something Padres fans should count on. He’ll also most likely be moving to an inferior defensive club, although on the flip side, he’ll be moving to a more pitcher-friendly home park.
Villanueva could compete for a rotation spot or a reprise his bullpen role with the Padres, as he has experience in both capacities. However, if he’s to assume the role of long reliever/swingman, that would seem to make Odrisamer Despaigne a somewhat redundant piece. Despaigne soaked up 125 1/3 innings for the Padres in that capacity last season, although he also posted a sky-high 5.80 ERA and saw his strikeout rate drop considerably in his second season of Major League action.
Exactly what SD had been looking for, a quality mop up reliever! Great signing!
Dang, I was hoping Cards would bring him back! He’s versatile, and serves as a great long man too.
I hope he’s retired the creepy moustache look, though.
So long Villanueva! Thanks for the contribution!
Another piece for he bullpen, all good but where’s our shortstop? They have been running that same story for awhile. Also where’s our stud 1B or LF?
Nice pick up. Nice veteran presence for what looks like to be a very young and unexpirenced bullpen for the Padres.
Surprised it took this long for someone to sign him.. Great pick up SD
I’m curious as to exactly what value others may believe the Padres have gotten from A.J. since he was signed as GM. To date he spent a bunch of money for several suspect players and contracts. This was done at the expense of our farm system which was not abundant to begin with. Now that that experiment has failed (many would say predictably) he sends off players to rebuild our minor league system which even after the dust has cleared is still only rated 25th in MLB. Meanwhile, Atlanta restocked their minor league system in a lopsided trade with the Diamondbacks for a middle to back of the rotation pitcher. When hired we were told that his strength was that he was a top evaluator of talent with an unsurpassed knowledge of the foreign market and the minor leagues. Yet the Padres aren’t even in the conversation when the signing of top players from around the world are mentioned. Is Carlos Villanueva really the most noteworthy signing? Could it be that ultimately this was just a “bait and switch” of epic proportions and that A.J. was signed for no other reason that he came with a cheapest price tag?
This isn’t a blockbuster but a one year 1.5m deal is a great deal. Not sure why stl didn’t get this done I wouldn’t have thought twice at maybe double that amount at least on a one year deal. Who fills the void he left? I wouldn’t want to put any young guy with promise in that role they need consistent innings.
His underline numbers last year weren’t great, meaning that his era last year was supported by a great strand rate. 1.5m deal for a mop up guy ain’t bad, but the fans should not think of him as an elite reliever. He’s never had an era below 4 until last year people.
We keep adding more mediocre and AAA arms to the pen. Is Preller just hoping that if he throws enough mud against the wall that something will stick?