11/18/07: Josh Anderson Traded For Righty Reliever Oscar Villarreal

I would guess that Josh Anderson is delirious with joy. Instead of being stuck in AAA for the rest of his life, he will (most likely) be the starting center fielder for the Atlanta Braves. He is most definitely no Andruw Jones with the bat – more like Otis Nixon, but he will be approximately 10-15 mill a year cheaper and that suits the Braves just fine.

Now they can spend that money to re-sign Texiera. That is, if they can. Boras has gotten a few hard knocks this year, first with the VERY badly timed announcement of A-rod opting out of his contract before the last game of the WS had even finished. Then Kenny Rogers fired him yesterday for trying to get him the best contract by shoppoing him to other suitors besides the Tigers.

But I digress….

Let’s take a look at Oscar Villareal, our new middle reliever. He just finished his 4th year, made 925K, so will most certainly get a raise. Ed Wade sure does like those expensive middle relievers, doesn’t he?
Anyway, Oscar Villarreal, age 26, RHP, was an undrafted FA from Mexico, signed by the Dbax in 1998. He first came up in 03, pitched 98 innings in relief with a 2.57 ERA, then 18 innings in 04, then 13.2 innings in 05. He must have been hurt, because he only threw an extra 10 innings in the minors each of those years.

At the end of the 05 season, he was traded with Lance Cormier to the Braves for Johnny Estrada. In 06, he threw 92 innings of 3.61 ERA ball over 58 games for a 123 ERA+ and he even started 4 games as an emergency starter (that was the year when the Braves had every starter except for Smoltz on the DL and any guy who could throw a ball was given at least one start. And they did as well as they did? Bobby Cox is freaking amazing. But I digress…) Anyway, last year, he was strictly a reliever, throwing 76.1 innings over 75 games with a 4.27 ERA or an ERA+ of 100.

It looks as if he’s going to be strictly a middle reliever, a 1 inning guy. Career, he has a 3.71 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and a .252 BAA. Naturally, he’s more effective against rightys than leftys, but it’s not that extreme a split – 1.48 WHIP and a .269 BAA against leftys and a 1.25 WHIP and a .240 BAA vs rightys. He’s only thrown 8 innings in the Box, but he gave up 2 homers. That’s worse than Brad Lidge. hahahaha…

Let’s see, what else? Well, his ML average shows that he has a 6.49K/9IP, a 3.46 BB/9 IP and 0.91 HR/9 IP. He looks pretty average to me, and I’m guessing they are going to try to slot him in for the 7th inning or something. We’ll have to see. I suppose he could throw more than 1 inning, he IS pretty young and it was just in 06 that he did that. We’ll have to see.

In the meantime it is now necessary for me to pimp myself and tell all yall that I was interviewed by Devin Clancy for this week’s sports weekly’s series on baseball bloggers. I’m on page 39. Check it out.

And hope all yall will forgive me this next week if I am a little long in responding to comments or even in posting – got Thanksgiving coming up and I’m getting ready with a LOT of cooking and then right after that is the High Holy Day of American Females and I hope HOPE there won’t be a repeat of last year when I came home dragging my dead tired broke ass and had to write about the folly of signing Carlos Lee to a 6 year deal…

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14 Responses to “11/18/07: Josh Anderson Traded For Righty Reliever Oscar Villarreal”

  1. Josh says:

    Yeah, the lost 02 and 05 were the result of the DBacks assaulting his 21 year old arm with those 98 innings.

  2. Mark says:

    I don’t see the Anderson deal as being very good for the Astros. Villarreal may be able to help, but as of right now, I don’t see that he’ll really do any better than the guys the Astros already have. Being a middle reliever with an ERA in the 4-5 range is nothing special.

  3. JDolla$ says:

    I was hoping that the Rangers would pick up Anderson for Laird – maybe with Scott for Nelson Cruz added in – but I guess the Rangers already have like 5 fourth OF types… The Astros didn’t get much for this guy – hope he doesn’t turn out to be a good player….
    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone…
    JDolla$

  4. Austin says:

    I agree with Mark. I wasn’t a huge Josh Anderson fan, but the one thing the Astros had plenty of was decent middle relievers. We’ve got middle relief out the wazoo. But, for some reason, we acquired another piece that doesn’t address our thin bench, defense, offense, starting pitching, OR our closer situation. I won’t say the Braves robbed us, because it was a pretty even trade on the surface, but I just think it was a dumb move by the Astros because this doesn’t make them better at all. And it might possibly make us worse, because our outfield is looking dangerously thin.

  5. Godot says:

    Villareal at this point is a junkballer. Brenly killed his arm. He was surprisingly effective as an emergency starter, and can be used as a 5th starter to give you 5 innings. His control went haywire this year, and picked up a knack of letting bunch of inherited runners to score.
    Really, he is more effective as a long man, or 5th starter.

  6. Lisa Gray says:

    well, i HAD written some scathing comments about ed wade and his obsession with crappy middle relievers, but then i decided i had already said it and thought i would just let all yall say it too.
    agree that it wasn’t much of a trade.
    ed wade had talked about making the astros a pitching and defense team and it sure seems that he is getting all defense no bat guys for the OF and he is up to his old trix with the middle relievers…

  7. Jack says:

    I don’t agree with the assesment that we have more than enough middle relievers. Last year we had the 14th best bullpen in the NL – only Pittsburgh and Cincinnati had worse bullpen ERA’s.
    By comparison, or starting pitching was 10th in the NL, and that was with Jason Jennings’s rediculous ERA.
    Now, I don’t know that Villarreal will do much to improve that, but who do we have that’s better than him?
    Qualls, and maybe McLemore or Sarfate, but no one else in our bullpen had a better ERA, and Sarfate only pitched 8.1 innings…

  8. Mark says:

    I wonder when Wade will wake up and see that he has more middle relief than he needs, not enough decent outfielders, not enough starting pitching, and no one for the bench.

  9. Michael says:

    Personally I think Wade’s done a good job with the relievers he’s brought in. Both Geary and Villarreal have had success in the majors. More importantly, they are relatively cheap – combined they’ll likely pull down between $2-2.5 million. So if they both stink out loud, they will not have broken the bank.
    Contrast that with a free agent middle reliever. Russ Springer had a career year at the age of 38 and was rewarded with a $3.5 million deal with the Cards. Then, of course, there’s Rivera’s contract and what’s expected Frankie Cordero will now receive.

  10. Steve Schramm says:

    Well, now Wade addressed the bench by getting Blum. And apparently, we’re going to get Brocail as well.

  11. Steve Schramm says:

    From Jayson Stark at ESPN:

  12. Austin says:

    Addressed the bench with Blum? That’s an optimistic outlook on a guy who only batted .252 last year. I see this as the acquisition of another old man who neither hits nor fields particularly well. I’m increasingly convinced that “utility” is just another word for third baseman who isn’t good enough to hold a starting job. We didn’t need Blum, and we certainly don’t need old washed-up Brocail as ANOTHER FREAKING MIDDLE RELIEVER. Goodness gracious, this team isn’t headed anywhere even remotely close to the vicinity of the right direction.

  13. Mark says:

    What Austin said. I like Blum. I liked Brocail when he was an Astro. But both of these guys are older now. If they were still good players, I don’t think their teams would let them walk away so easily. Only the Astros would let good players walk and sign old ones that are over the hill.
    When I look at Blum’s numbers from last season and compare them to those of both Loretta and Lamb, I have no doubt that Wade, Tal, and Co have gone completely out of their minds.

  14. Michael says:

    You know, guys, it’s a two-way street. Houston has no control over Loretta or Lamb and all indications are that they want to seek out opportunities to be starters, especially Lamb. Neither of them are going to get that opportunity in Houston and they know it, so what is their incentive to stay?
    As I see it, the good thing Wade has done is not lock the team into long-term deals or big money with anyone he has acquired or signed. If Geary and Villarreal stink out loud, they have not cost the team much in terms of money and there’s no financial commitment hindering the team from sitting them down and calling up a younger player.
    Blum is nothing but a cheap insurance policy and good clubhouse guy. Brocail, ideally, would be the same – relatively cheap bullpen depth with a wonderful reputation for working with young pitchers.

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