The Orioles have placed infielder Jonathan Villar on outright waivers, according to multiple reports. Villar, one of the club’s most productive players in 2019, is projected to earn a big raise in his final season of arbitration eligibility.
The other 29 major-league teams have until Dec. 2 to claim his contract, according to Dan Connolly of The Athletic. The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players is also Dec. 2. Should Villar not be claimed by any team, the Orioles would have the option to non-tender Villar. Long story short, Villar is not likely to be an Oriole in 2020, according to Connolly.
Villar, 28, hit .274/.339/.453 with 24 homers, 33 doubles and 40 steals in 2019. He also appeared in all 162 games. He posted a 4.0 WAR, according to Fangraphs and Baseball Reference, the top mark among Orioles position players on both sites. He was particularly productive in the second half of the season, posting a .291/.353/.490 line. Villar is a career .261/.328/.408 hitter.
Villar was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $10.4 million in his final season of arbitration. Villar is one of seven Orioles eligible for arbitration. One of the others is right-hander Dylan Bundy, projected to earn $5.7 million. The Orioles are in discussions about a Bundy trade, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
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