12:31 PM: Villar’s deal with Cubs is worth $6 million, Tweets John Heyman of the MLB Network. The one-year deal also includes a reciprocal option for the 2023 season and performance incentives that could boost the $6 million base, Tweets Mark Vinsand, MLB.com.
Villar, 30, spent the 2021 season with the Mets, putting together a solid .249/.32/.416 with 18 home runs, 18 doubles, triples, and 14-for-21 in loot. Base section. It marked the second consecutive season of solid production in the plate for Villar, who also hit .274/.339/.453 with 24 long balls and 40 base polos as a member of the Oriole.
Unfortunately for Villar, this pair of above-average seasons on the plate has led to a disastrous 2020 run that has shown it has hampered his earning ability in free agency somewhat. After splitting the 2020 campaign between Miami and Toronto, Villar posted a combined streak of 0.232/.301/.292 with 207 trips to the board. Small sample or not, that marked the least productive year for what is now a nine-year career as a top player – and it came on the cusp of Villar’s first venture into the free-agent waters.
The image of the Cubs stadium is pretty much hanging in the air at the moment, so it is not yet clear where Villar will move to. He is able to play second base, third base and stopping point, although he is more suitable for the former two than the latter. The Cubs hope the previous fourth place will earn an overall pick Nick Madrigalobtained from White Sox for Craig Kimbrel At last year’s trade deadline, he would be able to step up the role of second team captain daily. However, Madrigal is recovering from surgery to repair a complete torn hamstring last year, so it’s not a given that he’ll hit the ground running.
In the third rule, it seems that the cubs currently will rely mainly on the day laborer patrick wisdom. Although, Wisdom came out of nowhere to smash 28 home runs last season and spread the batting streak. He can’t be counted on to repeat last year’s surprise show of strength if he’s going to continue beating at a pace around 41%, and Villar will give Chicago some cover in the hot corner if Wisdom dips.
Looking at Shortstop, the Cubs will hand things over to the veteran Andrelton Simmons. The longtime defensive Braves and Angels struggled through an awful year at the plate in their only season with the Twins last year (.223/.283./274) but it’s still one of the sport’s best gloves. He’ll likely score the lion’s share of turns in short order as he searches for a bounce back to previous attack levels.
Villar can support any of the three positions, and the Cubs still have a former first-round pick Nico Horner As an option to fill around the playing field as well. Hoerner, just like Madrigal, has virtually no strength but has excellent racket-to-ball skills and a sharp eye on the board (14.7% hit rate, 10% walk rate in 2021). Madrigal, Simmons, Wisdom, and Hoerner all hit with the right hand, so Villar’s bat gives the manager David Ross More flexibility and additional matching options.