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Who is Ron Villone?

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No, he doesn't have a new album with that subject as the title. He's a pitcher. And he's a lefty. And he's (most likely) the Marlins new LOOGY (in case you don't know, a LOOGY is a left-handed one out guy - which is a nice thing to have late in a ballgame when you're due to face Jim Thome, or you want to turn Chipper Jones around).

Villone is something of an anomaly for the Marlins, as he's a guy in the pen with a multi-year, seven figure contract ($1.7 million this year and $2 million next year). That's not all that expensive, but next year's salary is double Todd Jones' pay this year and it's worth about five of the other guys who have seen some time in the pen for the Fish this year (as the Marlins tend to accumulate relievers who will pitch for the minimum).

What can we expect from Villone? Good things.

So far this year he has appeared in 52 games (but has only logged 40.1 innings - that's a sure sign of being a one-out guy: far fewer innings pitched than appearances). He has a 2.45 ERA and a WHIP of 1.36. His WHIP would be a lot lower, but Villone has allowed 5.5 walks per 9 innings (well up from his career average of 4.3, which is still pretty poor).

All of those walks will likely cause some agita, but he seems to manage to keep the runners from coming around to score.

Villone has been effective against lefties this year, but he's been effective against righties as well. What I found most encouraging from looking at his splits is that he's been nearly unhittable away from Seattle's Safeco Field this year. That gives us some hope that he's not just a Seattle-wonder.

Villone also has a track record with McKeon (although I wonder if Jack remembers him), as Villone pitched for the Reds during Jack's tenure there.

All of that said, the Mariners are happy to get Bazardo, and they should be. He most likely will turn into at least a serviceable Major Leaguer, and he has upside from there. Flannery, in all likelihood, is just a guy - a throw-in to this deal.