The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired UT Jonathan Villar from the Miami Marlins in exchange for OF Griffin Conine.
Villar is very, very fast, and he can play multiple positions. He has appeared at second base, shortstop and center field for the Marlins this season. After acquiring Starling Marte from the Diamondbacks and learning that Isan Diaz was returning after he opted-out, Villar became expendable. While he leads the league in stolen bases with nine, Villar has also been caught a league leading five times. The return is also pretty good in Conine, the son of Jeff Conine, who played for the Florida Marlins from 1993-1997, and again from 2003-2005. Conine was ranked by MLB Pipeline as Toronto\’s 16th best prospect. The Marlins drafted him in the 31st round in 2015, although Conine instead opted to go to Duke University. The Blue Jays are going for it this year, and Villar is a good player, giving them defensive flexibility and a speedy guy.
Villar, 29, hit two home runs with nine stolen bases, a .272 average and an OPS of .688 in 126 Plate Appearances for the Marlins this year. In his MLB career for the Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros, Villar has 80 home runs with 211 stolen bases, a .261 average and a .734 OPS in 3128 Plate Appearances.
Conine, 23, hit 22 home runs with a .283 average and a .946 OPS in 348 Plate Appearances for Single-A Lansing last year. In his minor league career, Conine has 29 home runs with a .266 average and an .863 OPS in 587 Plate Appearances.