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December 17, 2005

AP: Yankees acquire Villone from Marlins
by SG

The Yankees acquired [Ron Villone] from the Florida Marlins on Friday for minor league pitcher Ben Julianel.
“[The revised bullpen] starts to form something we’re very comfortable with,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who had tried to sign Villone last winter and acquire him from Seattle last summer. “He’s versatile. He can spot start, he can long relieve, he can situational lefty. He has the ability to do all of those without complaint, and that’s attractive...” [Villone] is owed $2 million next season in the second year of a $4.2 million, two-year contract.

Villone's Stats Inc. Scouting Report:

Villone's stuff is considered average, though his cut fastball gave lefthanded batters a lot of trouble in 2004. Villone also uses a changeup and a hard slider. The Mariners liked Villone's fearless approach to pitching. He goes after people and isn't afraid to go inside, even to righthanders, which also can get him in trouble. He's an average fielder who does a good job of controlling the running game. He has three pickoffs in each of the past two years.

Last year, lefties hit .222/.326/.256 against Villone.

From 2002-2004 they hit .227/.324/.330.

His G/F of 1.23 was about average last year, although in his career he is a slight flyball pitcher.

Villone has been much better in his career as a reliever, with a 4.14 ERA in 441 innings, and with a good K/9 ratio of 7.92, and a respectable career FIP(fielding independent pitching ERA) of 4.47. As a starter, his career ERA is 5.29, his K/9 rate drops to 6.35, and his FIP is 5.00. His biggest problem is his control, with a career BB/9 rate of 4.77, or one man every 2 innings or so.

He's nothing special, but he should be serviceable as a middle reliever and long man, and also makes it less likely that Mike Myers will have to face any righties. Also, as a 36 year old, Joe Torre will gladly use him. The cost of Ben Julianel is not a big deal. Julianel had an ok season at AA Trenton but he will be 26 and while he had impressive K numbers as a lefty reliever, his BB rate was unacceptably high for a 25 year old in AA.

In other news, Nomar Garciaparra appears to be leaning towards the Dodgers, which is disappointing but not particularly surprising. This will likely mean the signing of Miguel Cairo, but the Yankees still need to add a bat somewhere, preferrably in the OF.