Melvin Roman, the agent for Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar (among others), said today on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link) that Villar is “willing to bet on himself and go year-to-year unless they approach us with a contract that makes sense.” Villar reportedly rejected an extension this offseason that would’ve guaranteed him around $20MM. While it’s difficult to dissect that offer without knowing the exact amount and length, there are several instances of players in Villar’s service class securing quite a bit more.
Jason Kipnis, Matt Carpenter and Rougned Odor each signed in the vicinity of $50MM. The Brewers could rightly argue that Villar doesn’t have the track record that any of those three players did upon signing, of course, though Roman could cite Jose Ramirez’s $26MM deal and Villar’s superior power/speed numbers in arguing for a larger sum. Or, the two sides could go the route that the Twins went with Brian Dozier when he signed a four-year, $20MM deal that locked in his arbitration salaries but didn’t extend the club’s control. That’s all just a quick and rudimentary look at some recent comps, with the greater takeaway perhaps being that Villar isn’t inclined to take an especially club-friendly deal at the risk of short-changing himself.
More on the Brew Crew…
- Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton escaped serious injury after a frightening hit-by-pitch today, writes Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Broxton was hit in the head by a 93 mph fastball from Rockies rookie Anthony Senzatela, but was fortunately wearing a helmet with a “C-flap” — the increasingly popular helmet that extends protection with a flap that covers a hitter’s cheek. Broxton, who considered reverting to a traditional helmet this spring, said he believed the pitch that struck him would’ve connected directly with his eye socket had he not had the extended flap on his helmet and vehemently encouraged teammates and players around the league to begin donning the same type of helmet. “I’m grateful I kept that thing on, and I encourage every player to use it,” says the center fielder. “Even if you’re uncomfortable with it, guys, it saved me. I know it’ll help out a lot of other players as well. The best thing about this game is being healthy and being on the field.” Broxton was diagnosed with a small nasal fracture but won’t require a DL stint.
- Milwaukee optioned right-hander Taylor Jungmann to Double-A Biloxi today, per a club announcement. The move creates a spot on the 25-man roster for waiver claim Nick Franklin, who will join the Brewers this weekend. Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter link), the Brewers are being selective with their minor league assignments for pitchers this season. Jungmann and pitching prospect Jorge Lopez both struggled considerably in Triple-A Colorado Springs last season — a notorious hitters’ haven — thus prompting the Brewers to slot them in Double-A. In writing about the move, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy notes that Jungmann righted the ship in Biloxi last season, so perhaps the friendlier environment will be advantageous. This, McCalvy adds, is Jungmann’s final option year, so it’s a fairly pivotal season for the former first-round pick.