Slugging second baseman-shortstop Jonathan Villar was placed on outright waivers by the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, according to multiple media reports.
The move was made to beat the non-tender deadline for arbitration-eligible players on Monday.
According to MASN Sports, which first reported the move, the Orioles were unable to find an acceptable deal with another team for Villar.
The switch-hitting Dominican is coming off his best statistical year with the Orioles, including career highs in hits (176), home runs (24) and RBIs (73) while batting .274. He also had 40 stolen bases, which ranked third in the American League.
His three-run shot off Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Caleb Ferguson on Sept. 11 was the 6,106th homer hit in the majors last season, breaking the MLB single-season home run record.
He batted .270 with 32 home runs, 97 RBIs and 61 stolen bases in 216 games for the Orioles after they acquired him and two other players in a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers for second baseman Jonathan Schoop at the 2018 trade deadline. He played for the Brewers from 2016-18 after starting his major league career with the Houston Astros (2013-15).
Villar, 28, who was set to become a free agent after the 2020 season, has the option to go the free agent route now, allowing him to sign with any team.
Other arbitration-eligible Orioles ahead of Monday's deadline include infielder Hanser Alberto, outfielder Trey Mancini, starting pitcher Dylan Bundy and relievers Mychal Givens, Miguel Castro and Richard Bleier.
--Field Level Media