Will the Baltimore Orioles pay up for Jonathan Villar?
2019 salary- $4.83 million MLBTR projected salary- $10.4 million
Villar made a serious case for the Most Valuable Oriole award with his 62 extra-base hits, 40 stolen bases, 111 runs scored, and .274/.339/.792 slash line. He also made one of the biggest jumps in offensive production from the first half of the season to the second, increasing his wRC+ from 96 to 120.
The Orioles tried to trade Villar at the deadline, but weren’t overwhelmed by any offers and held on to the 28-year-old switch-hitting infielder. Maybe his hot second half and 4.0 fWAR season attracts a more aggressive suitor this offseason, otherwise, could Baltimore non-tender one of their best players from 2019?
Beat writers have thrown the idea out there and if Villar is indeed destined to earn more then $10 million next season, it shouldn’t come as a shock if this particular decision is made.
The flip side to this is that the Orioles will have to rely on the likes of Hanser Alberto, Richie Martin, and either an unproven rookie in Mason McCoy or a fringe major leaguer signed through free agency.
I don’t expect the Orioles to just let Villar walk and if no one comes calling this offseason, he comes back for another year. I don’t see a 2020 deadline deal getting done if teams have already passed on him twice.