Giants prospect Villalona loses U.S. visa

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villalona.jpgThe Giants confirmed Friday that top prospect Angel Villalona has lost his U.S. visa after being charged with killing a man in the Dominican Republic.
The 19-year-old Villalona was recently released from jail after reportedly agreeing to pay the family of the man he allegedly killed a total of $140,000.
Villalona was given a $2.1 million signing bonus to sign with the Giants at age 16. The team was looking him at him as its first baseman of the future, even though he was a disappointment while hitting .267/.306/.397 as an 18-year-old in high-A ball last season.
Now that he’s without a visa, it’s doubtful that he’ll be able to begin 2010 playing in the minor leagues. Even if he’s found innocent of the murder charges still pending against him, he may have trouble ever again obtaining a work visa for the U.S.

Indians release Mike Napoli

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The Cleveland Indians have released Mike Napoli.

This is not terribly surprising as he was seen as a depth move to begin with. Injury insurance for Yonder Alonso at first base and Edwin Encarnacion at DH, neither of whom are injured at the moment. Napoli was on a minor league contract and the Indians made it clear that, if he can’t find a major league job elsewhere, he’s welcome to come back and cool his heels in Columbus in the event he’s needed later.

Which may be what happens if he wants to keep playing because, after a season in which he hit .193/.285/.428, and a spring in which he hit .218/.310/.431, there aren’t likely to be a ton of takers.