Orioles trade Jonathan Villar to Miami Marlins for minor league pitcher - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles trade Jonathan Villar to Miami Marlins for minor league pitcher

Shortly before they would have elected to not offer him a contract, the Orioles traded infielder Jonathan Villar to the Miami Marlins for left-handed pitcher Easton Lucas on Monday night.

The Orioles had tried to trade Villar earlier and, failing to find a partner, placed him on outright waivers late last week. Once he passed through waivers on Monday afternoon, the Orioles tried to trade Villar again and were successful. Had they not traded him or offered the arbitration-eligible player a contract, Villar would have become a free agent.

Villar’s departure leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the infield. He batted .274 with a .792 OPS and had career highs with 24 home runs, 73 RBIs and 111 runs scored. He also stole 40 bases and became the fifth Oriole to hit for the cycle. He played in all 162 games in 2019, splitting time between second and shortstop.

Lucas, who’s 23, was the Marlins’ 14th-round draft choice from Pepperdine last June and was 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.096 WHIP in 13 games with the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League team and Short Season Batavia. He struck out 41 and walked nine in 34 2/3 innings.

The Orioles have 38 players on their 40-man roster after offering contracts to the other six arbitration-eligible players before Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline.

Earlier Monday, the Orioles agreed on a 2020 contract with left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier for $915,000, according to MLB.com.

Later, they offered contracts to infielder Hanser Alberto, pitchers Dylan Bundy, Miguel Castro and Mychal Givens and rightfielder/first baseman Trey Mancini.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. Orioles fan 4weaver

    December 2, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Good day for the Orioles. I agree with these contract offerings and trading Villar. Does this mean that the Marlins inherit Villar’s contract at 10+ million?

    • ClayDal

      December 2, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Villar wasn’t technically under contract. He was under team control. The Marlins will now have to offer arbitration. The 10 million figure is a projection. His actual salary could be more or less

  2. kjg719

    December 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    I read some of the comments on the article and agree with the ones that said Elias is tearing this team apart as he try’s to rebuild then he’ll jump ship for greener seas players start proving they can play and he wants to trade for minor league players is that all we’re going to keep seeing is minor leaguers

    • Raymo

      December 2, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      Man, that is one heck of a run on sentence.

  3. Mau

    December 3, 2019 at 6:52 am

    Villar seemed like a keeper. Why jump through hoops to trade him?

    • CalsPals

      December 3, 2019 at 8:06 am

      Just because he can, many things he’s done have people shaking their heads…go O’s…

  4. BirdsCaps

    December 3, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Getting something for villar is much better than what I thought we were going to get (notining). In a perfect world where the orioles were run like a normal ballclub, I would have loved to have kept villar around, but since the birds are in a super duper rebuild, this was the best of all scenarios.

  5. tman

    December 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Help me out please. Villar is the second best player on the O’s non pitching roster. Trading him for a 14th round draft pick pitcher will not make the team any better in 2020. Tell me how that helps rebuild the 2020 team. I would like to see improvement. All this trade does is make the team worst. I want to see moves that make the team better for 2020. Hint, we need pitchers that can pitch at the major league level.

    • Camden Brooks

      December 3, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      I don’t think anyone, including Elias, will say the trade will make the 2020 O’s any better. I was hoping to keep Villar, but I totally get that $10.4 million for one year wasn’t feasible for a team that will stink with or without him.

      • Borg

        December 3, 2019 at 5:05 pm

        Why is money an issue? This team does not have money problems, not with the payroll they’ll have next season. So, sure get rid of one of the more interesting and exciting players the Os had, just so they can play the “we’re in rebuilding mode” card for another season and hope no one holds them accountable. It feels like they’re hoping those minor league pitchers all hit the jackpot in 2021 and they can say they were successful in rebuilding. We’ll see if anyone is left watching them by then. RIght now, it looks like there will be another summer with plenty of free time not spent in front of the TV watching MASN.

  6. WorldlyView

    December 3, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    The question of whether the Villar trade was smart or foolhardy pales in comparison with this question: do Orioles fans deserve the kind of utterly horrendous 2020 season we are in store for? Or the just slightly less miserable 2021 season?

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