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Waiving/non-tendering Villar: pro or con?

Do you approve Elias’ move of waiving Villar?  

120 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Do you agree with putting Villar on waivers?

    • I’m in favor
    • I’m against
    • Don’t know, but I’ll defer to Elias’ judgment

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  • Poll closed on 11/29/2019 at 04:40

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49 minutes ago, wildcard said:

Here is the logic I have come up with for the DFAing Villar. 

........

Remember this is he 2nd time that a team Elias worked for has let Villar go by trade or DFA.

To me this is a Jim Johnson move.   Johnson was due 10m in arbitration and the O's traded him for basically nothing.  And it was one season after he was an All-Star and he has back to back 50 save seasons.  And the O's were contenders back then.

Wilkerson/Alberto/ Valaika  can play as good a defensive 2B as Villar.      Elias made it clear he did not want Villar at SS by saying he would acquire a veteran SS.

The O's are adding offensive players next season in Hays and Mountcastle.   Elias may be thinking that its better for the team to be strong up the middle defensively.    That could help the pitching.

What do you think of that argument?

 

This is very different from Jim Johnson. That team had a competitive payroll and was trying to win. Allocating resources properly can be crucial for contending teams. The money saved by letting Johnson go could be re-allocated to major league talent.

This is a rebuilding team with low payroll. Does it really matter is Villar is "worth" $10 million and not "worth" $7 million? That money saved will not be used to acquire talent, nor should it. For a rebuilding team, value is either young talent or players that could be traded for young talent. Villar has potential trade value. Less so now at his arbitration cost. However, just because teams don't want him at his current cost does not mean he has no value. Contending teams have traded for much weaker players at the deadline for speed alone (Dave Roberts, Billy Hamilton). If Villar has a strong start, he could absolutely bring prospects at the deadline.

The argument that the saved money will be re-allocated is weak to me as well. Again, this team will have a low payroll and can afford to spend the money on scouting and resources, with or without Villar. Are you telling me that when it's time to win and the payroll is $100 million higher that we will have to skimp on farm system? resources?

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11 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

This is an awful descion by the Orioles. They already have a low payroll and now they are DFAing one their best players because his Arbitration number? This is a middle finger to their fans. We all understand this is a rebuild, but you dont just release players who are good. This is an awful competitive and fan move. It's actually quite embarrassing to do this as well as you just made yourself the laughing stock of baseball.

This is a major warning sign that Elias is not being given the money to put out even a respectable product. If they had traded him I would have gotten the move, but to just DFA him after the year he had is embarrassing. Its embarrasing to baseball and slap on the face to their fans, even the ones who understand they are in a rebuild. 

I have been completely onboarding with what Elias has been doing with this rebuild until this move. I'm now embarrassed as a fan and can give no reasonable excuse for this move as a person who has covered this team for 24 years.

I agree. Another sign it's all about the money.

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We can all speculate the reasons why Elias has chosen to take this route but other sites and writers like Connolly are trying to figure out why you just let arguably your best all around player last season walk out the door with no return.

As one announcer said yesterday trade him for a couple of single A players if necessary but don't just let him go. It's not like he has been charged with DUI's or domestic abuse in his past or something because he has always been a positive in the clubhouse and on and off the field. Nothing bad !

Does this really go back to Elias's Astro days? It appears he is holding a grudge against him for some reason. The Astros organization that is now under investigation for cheating basically for several years. Are the Astros the greatest thing if stripped of their cheating ways? The Yankees stepped up again yesterday and said they were cheating in the playoffs with blinking lights used. Is this a big deal ? YES !! Do all teams try to cheat? Probably but maybe not to the extent the Astros do.  How their players and coaches can celebrate and smile saying they are number one in postgame shows is difficult to watch sometimes and is compounded with these revelations that continue to be revealed.

I remember talking to Jim Palmer at his book signing a few years ago and telling him I thought teams were stealing our signs the way they were hitting home runs against us. I believe Mookie Betts had just had his 3 HR game at OP and everyone was shaking their heads and laughing as was most of the Red Sox dugout including Betts after his accomplishment. When a pitcher who throws in the upper 90's throws a changeup and the hitter is sitting and waiting for it you know the pitcher is either tipping his pitches or the other team is stealing our signs. Palmer looked at me when I said it and said it looks that way. We talked for a few minutes and I hated to walk away from him as he seemed to be enjoying our conversation but there was a line of people waiting behind me. Hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports.as we all know. I remember when Tim Wakefield was in his prime watching him throw butterflies to us at OP and watching our hitters flail away and seeing him throw his lame low 80's fastball and striking out our hitters making them look really bad. They were sitting on his knuckleball almost every pitch trying to hit it. Finally teams figured him out and he left the game.

Were the Astros cheating when Villar was there and they were losing? Does Elias worry he may expose them sometime? MLB is not happy about the Astros story with fines and punishment on the way. There could be more to this release than is being talked about. It may not be just about the money.

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7 minutes ago, section18 said:

We can all speculate the reasons why Elias has chosen to take this route but other sites and writers like Connolly are trying to figure out why you just let arguably your best all around player last season walk out the door with no return.

As one announcer said yesterday trade him for a couple of single A players if necessary but don't just let him go. It's not like he has been charged with DUI's or domestic abuse in his past or something because he has always been a positive in the clubhouse and on and off the field. Nothing bad !

Does this really go back to Elias's Astro days? It appears he is holding a grudge against him for some reason. The Astros organization that is now under investigation for cheating basically for several years. Are the Astros the greatest thing if stripped of their cheating ways? The Yankees stepped up again yesterday and said they were cheating in the playoffs with blinking lights used. Is this a big deal ? YES !! Do all teams try to cheat? Probably but maybe not to the extent the Astros do.  How their players and coaches can celebrate and smile saying they are number one in postgame shows is difficult to watch sometimes and is compounded with these revelations that continue to be revealed.

I remember talking to Jim Palmer at his book signing a few years ago and telling him I thought teams were stealing our signs the way they were hitting home runs against us. I believe Mookie Betts had just had his 3 HR game at OP and everyone was shaking their heads and laughing as was most of the Red Sox dugout including Betts after his accomplishment. When a pitcher who throws in the upper 90's throws a changeup and the hitter is sitting and waiting for it you know the pitcher is either tipping his pitches or the other team is stealing our signs. Palmer looked at me when I said it and said it looks that way. We talked for a few minutes and I hated to walk away from him as he seemed to be enjoying our conversation but there was a line of people waiting behind me. Hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports.as we all know. I remember when Tim Wakefield was in his prime watching him throw butterflies to us at OP and watching our hitters flail away and seeing him throw his lame low 80's fastball and striking out our hitters making them look really bad. They were sitting on his knuckleball almost every pitch trying to hit it. Finally teams figured him out and he left the game.

Were the Astros cheating when Villar was there and they were losing? Does Elias worry he may expose them sometime? MLB is not happy about the Astros story with fines and punishment on the way. There could be more to this release than is being talked about. It may not be just about the money.

I'm not sure how DFA'ing Villar would stop him from exposing anything.  How exactly would that work?

I'd just as soon cut Villar loose as trade him for guys like Dan got back in the Matusz trade.  I'm fine with lottery tickets but I have no use for a bunch of used scratch off tickets.

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I voted that I didn’t like the move.   But I’m more disappointed than angry.    I’m disappointed that Elias apparently has judged that he’s unlikely to get anything of value for  Villar if he holds on to him.    I would have thought Villar had some positive trade value.    Unless we see a trade between now and Dec. 2, I guess I was wrong about that, and that’s a shame, since he was one of our few good players.    

If Villar had no trade value, I still would have preferred to keep him because he makes the team more watchable IMO.     But, at the end of the day, he’s a free agent in a year, and if the O’s have a better use for the $8.5 - $9.5 mm I believe he would received in arbitration, then I’m more interested in how Elias does in the long term than how the team does in 2020.     I’m certainly not going to abandon the team or draw conclusions that Elias doesn’t care about the fans.    I truly believe he’s in this to build a sustainable winning team in the shortest time he can, not to strip the team so that the Angelos family can profit.    But whether his plan will work is to be determined.    

 

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3 minutes ago, Luke-OH said:

Let's try and rationally talk through the thought process here. 

1. Elias's idea of a rebuild has no place for lipstick on a pig, that's what Villar in 2020 for 9-10M would be. This shouldn't be a surprise, he's made statements about this from the get go. 

2. Villar has surplus value, even at 10M. People a lot smarter than me on the subject of MLB player valuation have come to the same conclusion. 

3. Position players are much easier to move in the offseason.

4. Elias tries to trade Villar in the offseason, but every interested GM understands point #1 above and calls the Orioles bluff, not believing they would unnecessarily commit 9-10M for a one year player on a rebuilding team.

5. The non-tender deadline is coming up on Monday, Elias has a few options, none of them great.

    a. Tender Villar and then try and trade him (this is the most conservative option from a fan standpoint, but it does risk violating point #1)

    b. Non-Tender Villar (to the same type of outrage that this move generated, doesn't take advantage of point #2)

    c. Force a trade by eating money or taking org players in return (not sure if this is even an option, also doesn't take advantage of point #2 but easier to save face)

    d. Put him on waivers in time for the waiver deadline to be before the non-tender deadline with the hope that it'll force a deal (this is the option he chose, it protects against the risk of point #1, doesn't give up on point #2)

 

So let's assume the teams generally value Villar as a 2.5 WAR player for 2020 (Steamer projects him as 1.8 WAR, but I think that's light given the way he performs better when given everyday reps, each team has their own model of course) and the general valuation is 8M per WAR (that may be a touch high in the current environment). And assume he'll get 10M in arb. So that'd be 10M in surplus value. If they value him like Steamer, it'd only be 4.4 in surplus value. That's a pretty significant difference. But at either valuation, I'm sure there are plenty of teams that'd want his services for 10M and that's what Elias is banking on. That multiple teams claim him and he can get a better offer than was on the table before. 

Will it work? I don't know, none of us do, but putting him on waivers doesn't reduce any potential return, the risk is that only one team claims him and there is no return. It's a better option than non-tendering him straight up, that's unarguable. Is it a better option than tendering him and continuing to try and trade him? Depends on one's perspective. From a fan perspective, definitely not. From a front office perspective, I get it. The logic is that if teams aren't willing to claim him on waivers and work out a trade, they won't be willing to trade for him later in the offseason either and then you are paying a guy that you don't want to pay. 

To address the "cheap owner" concerns, the Orioles in the last 2 years of the Showalter/DD regime ran an operating loss. They were one of only a couple teams in the league that did. Most teams never do that. Those payrolls were unsustainable, but they proved ownership would spend to try and compete, even if the spending was fool-hardy in this case. I personally don't care how cheap they are now, as long as they are willing to spend on J2, infrastructure and player development improvement, and willing to fund the MLB roster robustly when the time comes. But I get it if you feel differently.

I'd like to see a reputable accounting firm get a look at the books and see what they have to say.

I do not believe those teams lost money under a fair accounting.

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6 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

I'd like to see a reputable accounting firm get a look at the books and see what they have to say.

I do not believe those teams lost money under a fair accounting.

I'm sure there are other means of income for teams, I'm not arguing that, I'm just saying the Orioles in those years were more willing to spend in ratio to the money coming in from traditional income sources than other MLB teams.

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41 minutes ago, Luke-OH said:

Let's try and rationally talk through the thought process here. 

1. Elias's idea of a rebuild has no place for lipstick on a pig, that's what Villar in 2020 for 9-10M would be. This shouldn't be a surprise, he's made statements about this from the get go. 

2. Villar has surplus value, even at 10M. People a lot smarter than me on the subject of MLB player valuation have come to the same conclusion. 

3. Position players are much easier to move in the offseason.

4. Elias tries to trade Villar in the offseason, but every interested GM understands point #1 above and calls the Orioles bluff, not believing they would unnecessarily commit 9-10M for a one year player on a rebuilding team.

5. The non-tender deadline is coming up on Monday, Elias has a few options, none of them great.

    a. Tender Villar and then try and trade him (this is the most conservative option from a fan standpoint, but it does risk violating point #1)

    b. Non-Tender Villar (to the same type of outrage that this move generated, doesn't take advantage of point #2)

    c. Force a trade by eating money or taking org players in return (not sure if this is even an option, also doesn't take advantage of point #2 but easier to save face)

    d. Put him on waivers in time for the waiver deadline to be before the non-tender deadline with the hope that it'll force a deal (this is the option he chose, it protects against the risk of point #1, doesn't give up on point #2)

 

So let's assume the teams generally value Villar as a 2.5 WAR player for 2020 (Steamer projects him as 1.8 WAR, but I think that's light given the way he performs better when given everyday reps, each team has their own model of course) and the general valuation is 8M per WAR (that may be a touch high in the current environment). And assume he'll get 10M in arb. So that'd be 10M in surplus value. If they value him like Steamer, it'd only be 4.4 in surplus value. That's a pretty significant difference. But at either valuation, I'm sure there are plenty of teams that'd want his services for 10M and that's what Elias is banking on. That multiple teams claim him and he can get a better offer than was on the table before. 

Will it work? I don't know, none of us do, but putting him on waivers doesn't reduce any potential return, the risk is that only one team claims him and there is no return. It's a better option than non-tendering him straight up, that's unarguable. Is it a better option than tendering him and continuing to try and trade him? Depends on one's perspective. From a fan perspective, definitely not. From a front office perspective, I get it. The logic is that if teams aren't willing to claim him on waivers and work out a trade, they won't be willing to trade for him later in the offseason either and then you are paying a guy that you don't want to pay. 

To address the "cheap owner" concerns, the Orioles in the last 2 years of the Showalter/DD regime ran an operating loss. They were one of only a couple teams in the league that did. Most teams never do that. Those payrolls were unsustainable, but they proved ownership would spend to try and compete, even if the spending was fool-hardy in this case. I personally don't care how cheap they are now, as long as they are willing to spend on J2, infrastructure and player development improvement, and willing to fund the MLB roster robustly when the time comes. But I get it if you feel differently.

An excellent post Luke, thank you. 
Until we see the outcome of this move by Elias, I defer to his judgement. I've read multiple tweets from numerous reporters, but it appears that Elias is making a bold play here. Bold is inherently risky, but it may be the best option in lieu of the choices that Luke laid-out. 

IMHO it's too early to judge Elias for a move that hasn't played out.  When this resolves, it's my hope we are discussing the return of a prospect or prospects, rather than the disappointment/anger of losing Villar for nothing.
Time will tell... it always does.  

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The Astros originally acquired Villar — along with Anthony Gose and J.A. Happ — from the Phillies in exchange for Roy Oswalt  in 2012.

The Brewers acquired shortstop Jonathan Villar from the Astros in exchange for minor league right-hander Cy Sneed in 2015. Villar was reunited with former Astros assistant GM David Stearns, who is now the general manager in Milwaukee.

"I had the opportunity to watch him play over the last three years in Houston," Stearns said. "A very talented guy, a guy who came up as one of the better shortstop prospects in baseball. As he's matured and gained additional skills, he's proven that he has the ability to move around the diamond."

Stearns added: "He's a guy who opens up options for how we construct the roster in the remainder of the offseason."

Nothing negative !

Releasing him doesn't keep him from talking to MLB and exposing the Astros if the cheating was going on when he was there from 2013 to 2015. Currently Manfred has expanded the investigation and it now includes 2017 through 2019.

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I’m against the move.

 

From a fan perspective, I’m drawn to the contrast of keeping a historically awful player because of a bad contract while releasing a player because they earned a raise by their performance. 

From a roster perspective, is the saved payroll going to improve the team performance in 2020? Or in 2024?  I’m just not seeing it. 

 

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33 minutes ago, Luke-OH said:

Let's try and rationally talk through the thought process here. 

1. Elias's idea of a rebuild has no place for lipstick on a pig, that's what Villar in 2020 for 9-10M would be. This shouldn't be a surprise, he's made statements about this from the get go. 

2. Villar has surplus value, even at 10M. People a lot smarter than me on the subject of MLB player valuation have come to the same conclusion. 

3. Position players are much easier to move in the offseason.

4. Elias tries to trade Villar in the offseason, but every interested GM understands point #1 above and calls the Orioles bluff, not believing they would unnecessarily commit 9-10M for a one year player on a rebuilding team.

5. The non-tender deadline is coming up on Monday, Elias has a few options, none of them great.

    a. Tender Villar and then try and trade him (this is the most conservative option from a fan standpoint, but it does risk violating point #1)

    b. Non-Tender Villar (to the same type of outrage that this move generated, doesn't take advantage of point #2)

    c. Force a trade by eating money or taking org players in return (not sure if this is even an option, also doesn't take advantage of point #2 but easier to save face)

    d. Put him on waivers in time for the waiver deadline to be before the non-tender deadline with the hope that it'll force a deal (this is the option he chose, it protects against the risk of point #1, doesn't give up on point #2)

 

So let's assume the teams generally value Villar as a 2.5 WAR player for 2020 (Steamer projects him as 1.8 WAR, but I think that's light given the way he performs better when given everyday reps, each team has their own model of course) and the general valuation is 8M per WAR (that may be a touch high in the current environment). And assume he'll get 10M in arb. So that'd be 10M in surplus value. If they value him like Steamer, it'd only be 4.4 in surplus value. That's a pretty significant difference. But at either valuation, I'm sure there are plenty of teams that'd want his services for 10M and that's what Elias is banking on. That multiple teams claim him and he can get a better offer than was on the table before. 

Will it work? I don't know, none of us do, but putting him on waivers doesn't reduce any potential return, the risk is that only one team claims him and there is no return. It's a better option than non-tendering him straight up, that's unarguable. Is it a better option than tendering him and continuing to try and trade him? Depends on one's perspective. From a fan perspective, definitely not. From a front office perspective, I get it. The logic is that if teams aren't willing to claim him on waivers and work out a trade, they won't be willing to trade for him later in the offseason either and then you are paying a guy that you don't want to pay. 

To address the "cheap owner" concerns, the Orioles in the last 2 years of the Showalter/DD regime ran an operating loss. They were one of only a couple teams in the league that did. Most teams never do that. Those payrolls were unsustainable, but they proved ownership would spend to try and compete, even if the spending was fool-hardy in this case. I personally don't care how cheap they are now, as long as they are willing to spend on J2, infrastructure and player development improvement, and willing to fund the MLB roster robustly when the time comes. But I get it if you feel differently.

I go with Elias is incompetent until he proves otherwise. As I've said 3 or 4 times since yesterday evening. He's done nothing so far personnel wise to prove he's a competent GM! Anybody couldve drafted AR in the 1st round. The Cashner move was trash, he couldn't get anything done at the deadline. Beyond Villar, Alberto was batting .320+ , Mancini had a big year, Bundy was pitching well! I won't buy "He Had NO Chips".

I won't believe they didn't know that they werent going to tender him due to salary! If that the case you get something at the deadline.

 

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3 minutes ago, UMDTerrapins said:

I’m against the move.

 

From a fan perspective, I’m drawn to the contrast of keeping a historically awful player because of a bad contract while releasing a player because they earned a raise by their performance. 

From a roster perspective, is the saved payroll going to improve the team performance in 2020? Or in 2024?  I’m just not seeing it. 

 

Neither ...into the greedy owners pockets.

Plus they had a surplus of more than $120 million this year!

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Just for context, Villar had a peak year aided in part by getting to play 162 games/714 plate appearances.  In general I believe only legitimate MVP candidates should really play that much.  He had a very good year, but I was curious to flip his WAR to a rate stat and see how it compared with some other 2019's.  I'm just using Fangraphs figures here - Villar's 4.0 fWAR in 714 PA's works out to a WAR/600 PA's of 3.36.  That's just ahead of Cavan Biggio and Adalberto Mondesi.

Here are some 2019 part-time infielders with more than 3.36 WAR/600.  Tommy Edman, Max Muncy, Bo Bichette, Brandon Lowe, Howie Kendrick, Kolten Wong are all far ahead, above 4.00.  Tommy LaStella, Jon Berti, Eric Sogard and Luis Arraez are in the 3.4-3.7 range. 

I think these are more the kind of puzzle pieces the lineup analysts in the front offices feeding the managers want, especially if you can curate guys with disparate skills, whether the classic Lowenstein/Roenicke model or newer "He can handle velocity but not spin, or vice versa" topics that have long been known but probably never vetted with the degree of precision Statcast has made possible in the last few years.

 

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