It had been known that Wade was pursuing relief help. He created a bit of a void by trading Brad Lidge, not that Villarreal fills that. The ’Stros currently have an offer out to Scott Linebrink, and have expressed interest in Jeremy Affeldt, Francisco Cordero, and Troy Percival as well. Villarreal is not a closer type, so look for Wade to sign one of Linebrink, Cordero, or Percival to handle the ninth inning. Chad Qualls would then take the eighth.
Villarreal has been a respectable reliever when healthy. The 26 year-old righty has a 3.71 career ERA. I imagine the Astros view him as their seventh inning guy. Wade was able to part with Anderson because he has a better version in Michael Bourn. Wade also oddly gave a Major League deal to a defensive-minded minor league free agent center fielder named Yordany Ramirez. Quite a commitment.
The 25 year-old Anderson is a burner who doesn’t hit much. Most view him as a future fourth outfielder. I imagine the Braves acquired him to use a stopgap solution in center field for a year or two.
I’d give a slight edge to Wade here, as we’re going to see teams locking in relievers similar to Villarreal for three years and $10MM+.