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 . 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 board led to a disastrous 2020 appearance that showed it hampered his ability to earn 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 to take fourth place in the overall standings 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 quickly.
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 games last season and spread the .231/.305/.518 batting streak (115 wRC+) as a rookie, he did so while coming out in an astonishing 40.8% of his appearances. He can’t be counted on to repeat last year’s surprise show of strength if he’s going to continue to strike 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 probably score the lion’s share of turns in short order as he looks for a bounce back to previous offensive levels.
Villar can support any of the three positions, and the Cubs still have a former first-round pick Nico Horner As an option for filling around the playing field as well. Hoerner, just like Madrigal, has almost no strength but has excellent Bat-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.