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Cleared of murder charges, Angel Villalona added to Giants’ to 40-man roster

Nov 19, 2011, 9:54 AM EDT

Angel Villalona AP

In case you didn’t notice, yesterday was the day teams set their 40-man rosters in advance of December’s Rule 5 Draft. Most of the moves are expected and usually include many guys you’ve never heard of, but occasionally a surprise is thrown our way. For instance, the Giants have added former top prospect Angel Villalona to their 40-man roster.

Villalona, who received a club-record $2.1 million signing bonus as a 16-year-old in 2006, hasn’t played professionally in over two years after being accused of killing a 25-year-old man in a Dominican Republic nightclub in September of 2009. Charges were eventually dismissed as part of a $139,000 settlement with the victim’s family, but Villalona sued the Giants for $5 million earlier this summer claiming they violated the terms of his contract following his arrest. After the two sides settled the lawsuit in September, the Giants were prepared to welcome him back in the organization.

Villalona is currently at the Giants’ complex in the Dominican working his way into baseball shape, but he isn’t completely out of the woods yet. While Giants president of baseball operations Bobby Evans told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he was removed from the restricted list about a month ago, he is still awaiting a work visa to return to the United States.

The Giants apparently feel that Villalona is worth protecting, but his stock was dropping as a prospect even before the murder charges. He had an ugly 235/42 K/BB ratio over his first three professional seasons and his lack of conditioning led many to believe he was best suited as a designated hitter in the long run. He’s still only 21 years old, so we can’t call him a lost cause, but he has a long way to go before being taken seriously as a prospect again.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    They make you wear catcher’s gear to your trial in the Dominican? Why isn’t Amnesty International all over this?

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Yet another example of how in sports character doesn’t matter to anyone, just performance.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 19, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      How does this get thumbs downs? The fact that there was a settlement between him and the victims family leads me to believe that he’s guilty. I’m not generally a prude or the P.C police but these are the kind of guys you cut loose and let someone else give him his second chance. Yeah the Giants lost some money but they should be used to that after the Barry Zito contract.

      • JBerardi - Nov 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        “The fact that there was a settlement between him and the victims family leads me to believe that he’s guilty.”

        Good for you. Obviously the Giants see it differently.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        Yeah the Giants do see it differently. They basically don’t mind employing a murderer as long as he can hit a ball also.

      • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        “The fact that there was a settlement between him and the victims family leads me to believe that he’s guilty.”

        Apparently the judge didn’t see it your way either.

        And a settlement might just as easily – if not more easily, these days – mean that you recognize paying off a would-be plaintiff in a civil action can be a lot cheaper than “clearing your name” in a protracted legal battle, especially when the charges against you have been dismissed anyway.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        The judge didnt see it my way either os true but I also dont always 3rd world country’s judicial systems that I dont know much about. The was I read this story it basically says they would dismiss the charges as long as he pays them money. OJ Simpson most likely killed his ex-wife and novody wanted to go near him again. This guy seems to probably have killed someone and they want to give him a contract.

      • Old Gator - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:14 AM

        OJ got off because the lead detective in his case admitted to having planted evidence. If I’m sitting on that jury, I vote to acquit too. People avoid OJ, if they do, because aside from the issue of whether he murdered his wife and her boyfriend, he was a violent, unstable asshole who ripped people off made their skin crawl on general principle. But there were also plenty of folks who flocked to associate with him merely because he was a celebrity – and even because he was a killer (ever heard of the Kray brothers?) even after the trial.

        And you’re just the flip side of such people. You keep calling this guy a murderer when the charges against him were dismissed. He was not convicted. The charges against him were dismissed. Period. End of story. If you want to have anything like a functioning civilization, you need to respect due process – and that means you don’t continue to persecute people who have been exonerated.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Gator I generally find your posts intelligent and sometimes pretty damn funny. Gonna have to go ahead and just not agree with tou at all in this case. OJ wasnt a jerk at all before his murder case. At least he wasntknown as one to the masses. He was in movies,national ad campaigns and covered the NFL. People only disassociated themselves from him after he was found not guilty. And just because someone is found notguilty doesnt mean they arent a murderer. But Imnot going to argue semantics and word play about this. You dont settle a murder case with money of you are innocent of the crime.

    • rhandome - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      I’m a Giants fan and I couldn’t care less about this dude’s alleged crime, as long as he wasn’t convicted. But then, I don’t look up to athletes for anything other than being awesome at their sport. If I was a Steeler fan I’d root for Big Ben; I’d root for Kobe on the Lakers or Drew Brees (defended torture at Guantanamo Bay) on the Saints, etc. But if you look to sports figures for moral inspiration, more power to you.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:14 PM

        I dont look up to athlete’s either and basically agree that a guy can help the team I root for sign him up regardless of some of his past transfressions. Sometimes though you gotta draw a line. I think killing someone might be that line.

  3. Kyle - Nov 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    “…an ugly 235/42 K/BB ratio over his first three professional seasons.” Holy S, “ugly” may be an understatement. Although, it may help is stock in the Giants org. seeing as they hate walks.

  4. bigleagues - Nov 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    I am considering the possibility that the Giants included a promise that he’d be placed on the 40-man roster as part of the settlement.

    I know Bobby Evans, this almost certainly wasn’t solely his call to make. Evans is a very nice guy (might even be the Giants next GM), believes in redemption and second chances, but you have to be accountable.

    Whatever might be in that settlement, I’m sure the Giants view Villalona as a long term investment at this point and want to extract some value, and doesn’t want to risk losing him in the Rule V Draft; thus his placement on the 40-Man.

  5. JBerardi - Nov 19, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    I don’t get it. If he’s taken in the rule five he has to stick on that team’s 25 man roster or he gets sent back to the Giants. Considering that his ability to hack it in the minors is in doubt at this point, it’s nearly unimaginable that he could stick on a major league roster. Very strange move.

  6. randygnyc - Nov 19, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Either you are guilty of murder, or you’re innocent. If there’s ANY gray area at all, professional sports organizations should ALWAYS and UNEQUIVICALLY err on the side of disassociation.

    • Old Gator - Nov 20, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      I dunno. I would think it should err on the side of justice.

  7. clarknaddison - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    awesome….typical americans. Lets let all these murders cross the boarder…

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