The perennially thrifty Miami Marlins opened their purse strings Monday and added some speed and power to an offense that ranked last in the National League in runs and homers this year.
Miami acquired infielder Jonathan Villar from the Baltimore Orioles for minor league left-hander Easton Lucas. The Marlins also claimed first baseman Jesús Aguilar off waivers after he was designated for assignment last week by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Villar batted .274 with 33 doubles, 24 home runs and 73 RBIs in 162 games for Baltimore this year. The switch-hitter had 40 stolen bases, 111 runs scored and 176 hits.
He made $4,825,000 and could command $10 million in 2020, his final year of arbitration. The Orioles parted with Villar for financial reasons.
“He was a tremendously exciting player for us,” Baltimore general manager Mike Elias said. “He was a joy to have. He's a fun player, a switch-hitter, he runs, plays hard, he's a great guy. It was hard to let him go.”
Aguilar was an All-Star for Milwaukee in 2018, when he had 35 home runs and 108 RBIs. This year he had 12 homers and 50 RBIs for the Brewers and Rays.
Aguilar will make $2.5 million in 2020. He’s expected to share time at first with Garrett Cooper, who had 15 homers and 50 RBIs for Miami this year.
The versatile Villar has played shortstop (385 games), second base (333), third base (54) and the outfield (13). He’s a career .261 hitter who had a career-best 62 stolen bases for Milwaukee in 2016.
To make room on Miami’s 40-man roster, infielder JT Riddle and right-handed pitcher Tayron Guerrero were designated for assignment. Riddle was not offered a contract and became a free agent.
Guerrero agreed to a $580,000, one-year deal before he was designated.