Orioles place Jonathan Villar on waivers - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles place Jonathan Villar on waivers

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.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Bhoffman1

    November 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Elias so far hadn’t done anything to make this team worse until today. 10 million is too much for this club to pay so we will open 2020 with a projected 63 mil almost down 100 per cent from our 2017 budget. Also Bundy is being shopped around. Forget about next season it’s just a rehearsal to get the number one pick in 2021. Go O’s lol

  2. Bhoffman1

    November 27, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    And since the worst player in the majors is eating up 22 mil of that budget the that leaves about 40 mil for the rest of the team. That could be a record low.

  3. Frank Howard LF-1B

    November 27, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Bhoffman has a point. The $10M player is waived and likely released. He had a spectacular season. CDavis is $7M above that and is one of MLB’s all-time disasters. I’m willing to ask the Elias administration: What do the Orioles stand to gain by not outright releasing Mr. Davis?

    If we’re hitting the record low, and clearing the decks for a REAL rebuild … Why not free the roster of the morale-killing non-producer of all time? I guarantee – a private-sector, sales-based corporation of any kind, based in USofA with an albatross executive who eats up almost half of the company payroll, would fire that person utterly immediately

    • Raymo

      November 27, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      However, in the private sector they would not have to continue to pay the fired executive for the next several years.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 27, 2019 at 8:00 pm

        That’s depends on how that executive’s contract reads. In the private sector, they may indeed have to pay that executive for the next several years. Come to think about it .. isn’t MLB part of the public sector?

  4. BGrich2B

    November 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    When I have brought my family to OPCY, we had hope that our Orioles would win the game. It’s really hard to imagine that we would have any hope this year with the potential team that we will see on the field. In my opinion Villar is an exciting player with a very well rounded skill set. Trumbo’s contract comes off the books. Not sure how the team cannot afford Villar. Honestly, it’s been one year of Elias, and it’s hard to be excited about the team yet, or his work. Please put a team on the field that has a chance to win some games.

    • Raymo

      November 27, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      Tom Davis likes to note that for the most part every team will win 54 games and every team will lose 54 games. It’s what they do with the remaining 54 that makes or breaks their season.

      Let’s hope the 2020 Orioles can win at least that many (as they did this year).

  5. WorldlyView

    November 27, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    I wish to offer some outside-the-box advice to the team’s management. (Note: there are a few wrinkles that need to be sorted out.) Don’t stop at dumping Villar and Bundy. Orioles fans deserve a much worse product. To minimize the payroll, trade or release Cobb, Alberto, Severino, and Givens, among others. Get the payroll to rock bottom levels to allow for a high volume of waiver wire wonders to be signed. Then transfer the talent-depleted Orioles to the International League (temporarily) where they should be competitive during the rebuilding years. This will have the added advantages of giving current farm team prospects the opportunity to play alongside a few major league caliber players, and it would negate criticism for rushing them to the Bigs prematurely. Reducing ticket prices would be optional; promoting the rebuilding strategy would be mandatory. To complete the process, the new waiver acquisitions would be assigned to Norfolk or Frederick. My fellow contributors and Rich are invited to fine tune these suggestions.

    • WorldlyView

      November 27, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      If you think my suggestions are too over the top, read this post on MLBtraderumors.com re the Villar move:

      Melchez 6 hours ago

      If they are really tanking, why not just release everyone and forfeit every game so they get the number 1 pick? They save on payroll. They save the fans the misery of seeing these bums play. They get a top pick.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 27, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Let me run this by y’all …

    How about the team giving season ticket or plan holders, a 10% refund on the price of the ticket, for each game that fan purchased a ticket … AND the team lost?

    Why should they have to pay major league prices for minor league quality?

  7. ptjhu

    November 27, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I would have to guess that there was obviously no interest/market for Villar — otherwise he would have been dealt? What shocks me equally as much is that any other MLB team would be interested in Dylan Bundy, who pretty much sat at 91 mph last season.

    I still think the team is going to be good in a few years, when Rutschman is catching the likes of Rodriguez/Hall/Aiken and others. But dear Lord: next season could be brutal.

  8. Hallbe62

    November 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    I see that others in the baseball world (MLB Trade Rumors) are shaking their heads at this move.

    • CalsPals

      November 28, 2019 at 7:27 am

      Shocker, but we have to be careful & not be fans, say something negative & offend others…here we go…give everyone a trophy…Villar, I don’t get, Davis would make sense, now we’ll go search the waiver wire & get another.200 hitter or 5.55 era pitcher…go O’s…


      November 28, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Don’t you DARE even hint at criticizing the “Boy Genius”.

  9. NormOs

    November 28, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Why would the O’s want to keep Villier? He only hit .274 with 24 homers, 40 steals, 111 runs scored, and played in all 162 games. Trade this bum for anything they could get and then get on with the business of more “waiver wire trash” and Rule 5 (look how great the O’s have done over the years with Rule 5 picks) and minor league free agents (of course, NO major league F A’s for us, as usual, too much money). If they are able to trade Bundy and Mancini, they could, I believe, establish a new MLB record, 130 LOSSES. I don’t believe any team in MLB history has lost 130 games so maybe the O’s will be 1st in something. Thank you Elias!

  10. Phil770

    November 28, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Surprised and disappointed. It will be interesting to see if any team thinks Villar is worth $10M. This may be a creative way to challenge PA re: arbitration. If no one in the market will pay it, maybe a 50% raise versus 100%+ will be acceptable. Schoop was at 10 mil, got cut. Minne. Signed for $7.5mil, and he is back in the market.

    • CalsPals

      November 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Jonathon back with us…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 28, 2019 at 3:29 pm

        Would LOVE to Schoop return.

        Never understood letting him go to begin with. Oh that’s right … we might win too many games with real major league players on team. Silly me.

  11. BunkerFan

    November 28, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    I’m sorry. This is where I where I jump off the Elias Bandwagon and wonder if this is deliberate tanking, not just to get the #1 draft choice but a long-range ploy to so reduce attendance that the team can be justified moving out of town (Think that’s impossible? I have one word for you: Colts) . It makes absolutely no sense to put a deliberately putrid team on the field if you want to have any semblance of fan loyalty at some distant point down the road when the team starts winning again – if they ever do. If you are doing this to sign some free agents of quality (which I seriously doubt) then I can see it. And I will hold off final judgment until we see if that unlikely scenario happens. But given the already low payroll, I don’t see how Villar should NOT be signed. That is, if Elias has any concern for the Fanbase. What this apparent strategy also doesn’t account for is that you need to remain somewhat competitive not just to keep fans engaged, but also if you want to prevent developing players from becoming totally demoralized from playing on a wretched team. This is a terrible move: to lose Villar with absolutely no compensation other than not paying his arbitration salary.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 29, 2019 at 8:02 am

      BunkerFan, the Orioles are not going to move.

      Teams move because their attendance is low, their facility is substandard and they have a superior alternative.

      Attendance won’t be any better in 2020 than it was in 2019, but the low attendance is due to the team’s performance, and not an inferior stadium.

      The Colts were playing in a bad facility, and moved to a brand-new stadium. Because the Raiders were allowed to move without NFL approval two years before, the Colts could do, too.

      There are strict guidelines for moving MLB teams, there is no other market with a major league-ready stadium and/or plans for a new one, and MLB will never let Oriole Park stand empty.

      If the Orioles wanted to move, why would Elias be allowed to hire new people to replace the ones let go?

      • willmiranda

        November 29, 2019 at 10:31 am

        Happy Thanksgiving, Rich. I agree the O’s are not ripe for moving. I don’t see anyone courting them. As for the new hires, though, many seem to be in newly-minted positions that have little institutional ballast; and the hirelings seem to be risers who are building resumes. To be blunt, starting another makeover wouldn’t be that difficult. Meanwhile, the illusion of purposeful stability can be maintained. I’m not pushing this scenario as a prelude to a move, but I think it’s credible.

  12. BunkerFan

    November 29, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the responses. There were a spate of articles last summer about the O’s moving to Nashville when their lease at OPACY is over after 2021. They mentioned that the Angelos sons wanted to sell and that one of them had a home in Nashville. There is also a AAA team there at the moment as well as major league football and hockey. These factors make Nashville a possible home for an MLB team. Even if this is not the case, my other points remain. especially since there is a winning team just down the road. Young fans who MLB should want to cultivate are easily swayed and who wants to follow a terrible team anyway except die-hard fans. Letting your most exciting player go and getting nothing in return is dumb. Just dumb. And kind of unprecedented. I think Elias got fleeced by veteran GM’s who knew he wanted to get rid of Villar. I’ll bet he signs with a contender for a 2 year deal in double figures.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 29, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Harold, I just wanted to debunk some of what I see as laughable rumors about the team moving. Yes, Nashville has NFL and NHL teams, but that’s not a reason to move–that’s a reason not to move.

      Three major league teams in a market the size of Nashville is overkill. There’s no major league-ready stadium, just as you mention a Triple-A team that draws well for a minor league team, but no huge appetite for big league ball.

      Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to chime in.

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