Ahead of Monday’s deadline for tendering contracts, the Orioles placed infielder Jonathan Villar on outright waivers on Wednesday.
The news was reported by MASNsports.com and confirmed by multiple industry sources.
According to MLBTradeRumors.com, Villar, who had his most productive season in his major league career last season, could earn $10.4 million in arbitration, and that’s a figure the Orioles have no intention of paying.
Villar hit .274 and had a .792 OPS while playing in each of the Orioles’ 162 games. He had career highs with 24 home runs and 73 RBIs. He also stole 40 bases in 49 tries.
If Villar is claimed on waivers, a club would have to pay the 28-year-old whatever he would get in his last season of eligibility for arbitration. If he isn’t claimed, which is expected, the Orioles could try to work out a deal at a lesser amount or not offer him a contract, which is the likely result. He then would become a free agent.
Villar is one of seven arbitration-eligible players on the team.
According to a report by MLB.com, the Orioles are trying to trade another of their arbitration-eligible players, right-hander Dylan Bundy.
Bundy, who is in line to make a possible $5.7 million, is likely to draw substantial interest in the market.
Others who must be offered contracts by Monday are pitchers Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro and Mychal Givens, infielder Hanser Alberto and outfielder Trey Mancini.