The Cubs continued to add infield depth today as they signed 30-year-old shortstop Jonathan Villar to a one-year deal.
Free-agent infielder Jonathan Villar in agreement with the Chicago Cubs, pending physical, according to a source familiar with the situation.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 17, 2022
Mark Feinsand has details on the terms.
Jonathan Villar’s deal with the Cubs is for one year and $6M, per source. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2023 as well as performance bonuses.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 17, 2022
Villar spent last season with the Mets where he served as the starting third baseman for much of the year, but he also spent some time at shortstop. He hit a solid .249/.322/.416 with 18 home runs and 14 steals over 142 games.
Villar came up with the Astros, but his best seasons were in Milwaukee and Baltimore. In 2019, Villar played in all 162 games for the Orioles and put up a 4.3 bWAR with a line of .274/.339/.453 with 24 home runs and 40 steals, mostly playing second base.
Villar has also played for the Marlins and Blue Jays, so he’s certainly earned the title of “journeyman.”
Beyond the potential upside with the bat, the Cubs certainly found Villar’s defensive versatility attractive. Villar mostly played third, second and shortstop for the Mets last season and the defensive stats say he was still pretty good with the glove.
Villar will provide another option for David Ross at third base along with Patrick Wisdom and insurance at shortstop behind newly-signed Andrelton Simmons and Nico Hoerner.
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