Potential trade target Jonathan Villar would give the New York Mets depth at all infield positions while also giving them some much-needed speed.
A mission for the New York Mets this winter should include adding depth to the 25-man roster. With more doubt on the bench than last year, it’s important they find guys who can play multiple positions to make up for injuries and lengthy slumps.
Along with searching through the free agent pool, they can make a trade. Infielder Jonathan Villar is one of those guys I hope they would consider adding via trade this winter.
In 2016, Villar led the league with 62 stolen bases as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. He slashed an outstanding .285/.369/.457 complete with 19 home runs.
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The magic seemed to leave the following year. Although he played in fewer games, the .241/.293/.372 batting line was a major reason why. He wasn’t much better for the Brewers in 2018, but after joining the Baltimore Orioles, Villar picked things up again.
In about 50 fewer plate appearances with Baltimore, Villar hit more home runs, drove in more runs, and swiped more bags. His batting line was up across the board as well. Some credit could go toward playing in a hitter’s park. Although, if you look at other members of the 2018 Orioles, it’s not much of a factor.
Villar is primarily a middle infielder, but someone I could see a team like the Mets using as a super utility man. He does have limited outfield experience. With the Mets, he’d be more of a second-string infielder and one of the best pinch-running options out there.
Considering Wilmer Flores may be non-tendered this winter due to his bad knees, they need to find a guy to replace him. Villar is a far different type of player than Flores. That’s not a bad thing either. Villar can give the Metropolitans some deadly speed they so desperately desire.
Of course, the challenge here is keeping him happy behind everyone else. The Mets could do this by offering Villar regular starts at second base when lefties are on the mound and at third base when they face a righty. Jeff McNeil and Todd Frazier will likely begin the year as the starters at these two positions. This doesn’t mean they will start 162 times.
Villar strikes me as the kind of player that can also take over in the outfield as needed. Perhaps we even see him out in center field.
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There are many options with Villar. First, the Mets need to find a way to add him to the roster.