The Giants added six prospects to their 40-man roster Friday night, protecting them from being claimed by other teams in the Rule 5 draft, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News.
The most noteworthy name among those protected is first baseman Angel Villalona, who has spent the past two years in his native Dominican Republic after being charged with murdering a 25-year-old man outside a bar in La Romana, while on the disabled list of the Single-A San Jose Giants and on a team-approved visit home.
Villalona signed with the Giants in 2006 as a 16-year-old for what was a then-franchise record (for an amateur) 2.1 million bonus. But after the murder charge was levied against him as a 19-year-old, Villalona was relegated to baseball's restricted list.
On Sept. 2 of this year, Villalona received his first bit of good news, when Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans told CSNBayArea.com that the power hitter became eligible for reinstatement.
That reinstatement happened Friday night, when he was added to the Giants 40-man roster.
According to the report, the Giants do not expect an problems getting Villalona a visa, which must be done before he can work for the Giants in the United States. He is currently at the Giants' Dominican camp getting back into shape.
Outfielders Roger Kieschnick and Tyler Graham, second baseman Charlie Culberson, and pitchers Dan Otero and Hector Correa were the other five players protected.
In corresponding moves, the Giants removed outfielder Darren Ford and pitcher Waldis Joaquin from the 40-man roster and designated them for assignment.