Miami Marlins add Jonathan Villar from the Baltimore Orioles
As noted by Joe Frisaro, Villar who was put on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles not a week ago will head south. In return, Easton Lucas will be heading north to Baltimore. Before Villar’s official arrival, the Marlins have designated JT Riddle and Tayron Guerrero. Villar enters his final season of arbitration where he was projected to earn $10.4 million dollars.
The Villar Benefit
Adding Villar is nothing but a positive in many ways for the Marlins. On a youthful team starved of veteran leadership, Villar brings the experience. That comes after the Marlins lose out on Martin Prado and Curtis Granderson.
One thing that Prado and others couldn’t quite do last season was to stay on the field for extended periods of time. Jonathan Villar was quite the opposite as he was one of just five players to perform in all 162 games in 2019. Leadership comes through experience on and off the field which is exactly what the Marlins need heading into 2020.
Villar also comes off of a strong season where he produced a hitting mark of .273/.339/.453. He became just the second Oriole since 1991 to hit 20 or more home runs (24) and steal 20 or more stolen bases (40) in a single season. Villar’s wRC+ mark of 109 tied for the second single-season highest mark in his career. For his efforts, Villar earned a WAR mark of 4.0 which marked the best WAR of his career.
It’s obvious that while Villars’s talents have merit, his time in Miami is limited to a few seasons. That’s mainly due to the up and coming talent that the Marlins have to offer in the next few years. While Villar has played in plenty of different positions, his mainstay has been the infield. Miguel Rojas and top prospect Isan Diaz are two that will likely hold down the infield come the start of 2020. It may be more likely that the Marlins could utilize Villar in a utility role.
As for what Baltimore receives Easton Lucas is a 14th-round pick out of Pepperdine. He has the potential to be a prominent back-end starter. It doesn’t seem like a balanced transaction but it’s clear that Baltimore just wanted a salary dump and would be crazy to let Villar go without compensation. This gives the Orioles a chance to free up cap space and grow a potential star.
For Villar himself, after one of his best seasons to date, he will have the chance to really help himself out for the future. Should he have a tremendous 2020 season, there’s talk about him as even a potential trade piece at the trade deadline.