Giants prospect Villalona loses U.S. visa

Leave a comment

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.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.