In a playoff position and with a void to fill, the Toronto Blue Jays have made a deal for Jonathan Villar.
As a sure sign he was on the move, Jonathan Villar was pulled from the Miami Marlins’ lineup on Monday afternoon. It has indeed happened, as Jeff Passan of ESPN and others reported Villar is headed to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Villar entered Monday with a .272/.328/.360 slash-line, with two home runs, nine RBI and a major league-high nine stolen bases. He has also been caught stealing a major league-high five times, but he’s only a year removed from a 20-40 season with the Baltimore Orioles (24 home runs, 40 stolen bases).
Marlins insider Craig Mish suggested Villar played a little reckless at times, and wasn’t buying in to what they’re doing. Headed for free agency after the season, an apparent strained fit in Miami should be of little or no concern in Toronto.
Mish has reported who the Marlins are getting for Villar. Griffin Conine, the son of “Mr. Marlin” Jeff Conine, is coming “home”.
How will Jonathan Villar help the Blue Jays?
The Blue Jays placed shortstop Bo Bichette (knee sprain) on the IL on Aug 16. He is making some progress, but he’s still expected to be out until at least mid-September. Toronto was rumored to have interest in Angels’ shortstop Andrelton Simmons, but they appear to landed on Villar instead.
Villar has split time between second base (10 starts) and shortstop (14 starts) this year. He has not necessarily been well-regarded for his infield defense, but his versatility carries value.
If the postseason started Monday, the Blue jays would hold the final Wild Card spot in the American League. They also play the Marlins in Miami starting Tuesday night, so Villar can simply fly back to South Beach and meet his new team.
In this most unique season, the Blue Jays are making moves with getting back to the playoffs in mind (Robbie Ray, Taijuan Walker). Villar will be help fill an infield void while Bichette is out, and ideally he’ll be a contributor beyond that into October.