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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Astros - Acquired Villarreal
Houston Astros - Acquired P Oscar Villarreal from the Atlanta Braves for OF Josh Anderson.
Villarreal was an exciting name about 5 years ago after bursting on the scene in relief for Arizona as a 21-year-old. He even successfully made it through getting nailed with two line drives in as many weeks, one in the leg and one in the chest. But he needed elbow surgery in 2004, shoulder surgery in 2005, and he came back as a serviceable middle reliever and not the top closer that a lot of people believed he could be (I personally liked Valverde better at the time, though he had a similar up-and-down career until last season).
And if serviceable middle reliever is part of your resume, Monster.com forwards it immediately to Ed Wade. In this case, while I generally think Wade puts too much of a priority on the lesser member of his bullpens, I do think this is a decent move on his part. Villarreal is still young, not very expensive, and he did fairly well last season (better in 2006). The Astros just acquired an outfielder that, just like Anderson, is a speedy centerfielder that hit well in limited time in the majors but not previously since A-ball. I think Willie Harris is the better player and one hopes the Braves that wouldn’t start the season with two Harrises on the roster. Strangely, a little like Ryan McGuire (though he’s smaller than McGuire), he looks quite different from what you would think from his statistics - he’s not some muscle-bound hulk, but he’s not some little scrawny guy either.
Is it just me or have there been more trades than usual pre-winter meetings?
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