The O’s have put Jonathan Villar on outright waivers. You know, a guy who hit .273/.339/.453 with 24 homers, who stole 40 bases, and was worth 4.0 bWAR. You know, one of the few guys on the team who was even watchable?
ESPN speculated it was to try to make it easier to trade him ahead of the nontender deadline Monday. However, he has 6 years of service time; he can reject the waiver and become a free agent. The O’s have also supposedly been shopping him already with no takers (who knows what the O’s were asking for in return, too). Now, a team can just claim him and agree to pay him whatever arbitration award he gets (it’s his third and final arbitration year)—expected to be around $9M…or he can become a free agent. This looks to me like a pure salary dump, jettisoning one of their best players to save not much money in baseball terms…and really not giving a damn about providing Oriole fans a team at all worth watching…or hope. To me, this looks like a whole new level of tanking. If I’m missing something, please tell me.