About one year into Mike Elias’s tenure as general manager of the Orioles, it’s fair to say that the team has done little to spur immediate improvement. However, they also haven’t been actively making moves to be worse in the short term… until today. MASN’s Roch Kubatko reported that the Orioles have placed Jonathan Villar on waivers.
According to Kubatko, the move follows the Orioles having tried, without success, to find a trading partner for Villar. Despite Villar posting a 4.0 bWAR season in 2019, with a .274/.339/.453 batting line and 40 stolen bases, it seems that neither the Orioles nor any other team are interested in his services at the projected estimate of over $10 million dollars for his salary in his final year as an arbitration-eligible player.
The result of this move is that either another team will claim Villar on waivers by Monday, or he will be non-tendered by the Orioles and become a free agent. Both of these would result in the Orioles losing Villar for nothing in return.
This sucks. The idea that having a $10 million second baseman is some unpalatable expense for a team that’s already had its payroll slashed significantly is a crummy one….