Jonathan Villar has been non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles and will become a free agent. Should the Brewers try to reunite with Villar in 2020?
The Baltimore Orioles decided that they would rather not pay Jonathan Villar $10 million or more next season, and he’ll become a free agent. Villar put up fantasy baseball stats last year, but will have to find a new city to call home in 2020. Should the Milwaukee Brewers look to bring him back to round out their infield?
How did Villar perform in 2019?
Villar played all 162 games for the Orioles in 2019, and racked up a .274/.339/.453 slash line in 714 plate appearances. He also swiped 40 bases in 49 attempts and smashed 24 homers. Villar scored 111 runs and drove in 73. He was awesome in almost every way…for most fantasy baseball teams. He still struck out in over 24% of his at bats and he was still prone to bizarre base running mistakes.
On defense, Villar was slightly less mediocre than usual. He played second base and shortstop for the Orioles in 2019, and was a bit better at second than he was at short. He committed 12 errors in 658 innings at short, and eight errors in 738 innings at second.
Where would Villar fit into the Brewers?
The only place that makes sense for the Brewers to try to fit Villar would be third base. Keston Hiura will play second base for the next decade, and Orlando Arcia and Luis Urias will compete for time at shortstop.
Unless the Brewers bring back Mike Moustakas, find another solution through free agency or trade, or decide to give Travis Shaw another chance, third base is an area of need that Villar could potentially fill. The only problem is that Villar has over 400 innings at third base in his career, and owns a sub-.900 fielding percentage there.
Is there any chance the Brewers try again with Villar?
No. Virtually none. A few guys would have to be horrifically maimed or injured in odd off season incidents for this even to be considered. Three teams have grown tired of Villar’s act with the Milwaukee Brewers already among them. He wore out his welcome in Houston, did the same in Milwaukee, and Baltimore would rather not have him on a 100+ loss team in 2020. It’s really hard to see a path for Villar to return to the Brewers in 2020…or ever.
Villar is great on fantasy teams, but not as helpful as his numbers indicate in real life. He’s prone to defensive gaffes, base running mistakes, and ill-timed strikeouts. The 20-40 season last year looks great on his resume, but it sounds a lot better than it actually is. Villar would fit in well on another team that’s going no where and needs a second baseman who will stay on the field and rack up impressive counting stats.