MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have placed 2B/SS Jonathan Villar on waivers. The club had been trying to trade Villar but came up unsuccessful. Now interested teams can claim him.
Villar, 28, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $4.825 million in 2019. He is coming off of a strong season in which he played in all 162 games, spent significant time at two middle infield positions, and hit .274/.339/.453 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 40 stolen bases across 714 plate appearances. Baseball Reference credited him with an even 4.0 Wins Above Replacement.
Villar is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $10.4 million in arbitration, which is why the Orioles have placed him on waivers. The rebuilding Orioles have a projected 2020 payroll of $73 million with the current roster. They appear destined for a fourth consecutive fifth-place finish in the AL East now that they have jettisoned their best position player.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Braves and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarría reunited on a one-year, $1 million contract.
Hechavarría, 30, began the season with the Mets but was released in mid-August and joined the Braves shortly thereafter. He enjoyed more success in Atlanta, albeit in a smaller sample size. In aggregate, Hechavarría hit .241/.299/.443 with nine home runs and 33 RBI over 221 trips to the plate. More importantly, he provided versatility with above-average defense.
The Braves are banking on Hechavarría doing more of the same in 2020 as a backup infielder. He will spell Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Johan Camargo, and Austin Riley as needed.