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Texas Rangers get Villines from Mets

The Rangers have acquired pitcher Stephen Villines from the New York Mets as a player to be named later

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers have acquired righthanded relief pitcher Steve Villines from the New York Mets as the player to be named later in the Ariel Jurado trade, the team announced today.

Villines, 25, was a 10th round draft pick of the Mets in 2017 out of the University of Kansas who got just a $10,000 bonus as a senior sign. He has worked exclusively in relief in both college and in the pros. He split the 2018 season between low-A, high-A and AA, putting up a 3.11 ERA with 96 Ks against 13 walks in 66.2 IP. In 2019, he split the year between AA Binghamton, where he had a 1.20 ERA in 45 IP over 28 games, with 42 Ks against 14 walks, and AAA Syracuse, where he allowed 13 runs in 16 IP, struck out 12, walked 8 and allowed 4 home runs.

Villines is a sidearmer who doesn’t throw hard — the reports I can find indicate he throws in the upper 80s — but he has very good control and a lot of armside run. Amazin Avenue has a write-up of him from prior to the 2019 season you can see here, which includes a video of his delivery.

Villines is Rule 5 eligible after 2020, and I guess he could be taken, as he is an older relief arm who has made it to AAA, but given he’s a limited ceiling guy who hasn’t been scouted in 2020, it would seem unlikely he would be selected, or that he would stick on the roster if anyone does.

Villines is basically a somewhat interesting arm who will presumably be in Nashville in the bullpen next year, and if everything goes right, could end up in the majors at some point. He’s the sort of return you would expect for 2020 Ariel Jurado.

The Rangers are owed two more players to be named later from the Mets, in the deals involving Robinson Chirinos and Todd Frazier.