Jonathan Villar is top name to move to AL-only leagues at trade deadline

Jonathan Villar's speed on the bases will be a welcome addition to the Blue Jays and to AL-Only league managers. AP Photo/John Bazemore

I can't say I saw this much action happening at the MLB trade deadline, what with the COVID-19 testing rules and regionally limited schedules, but if you hoarded your FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) dollars in an AL-only league nevertheless, you've finally got your prize: Jonathan Villar, traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon.

That Villar fills the stolen base column in rotisserie leagues, as one of the few who can do so at a high level, supports your making a big bid: I'd argue that more than 80% of your original budget, if still available, should go to securing his services, and I'd max my bid if you've already spent more than that.

Generally speaking, Villar's arrival in Toronto is a plus, both for his own fantasy value as well as that of his new Blue Jays teammates. He'll take over the everyday shortstop duties while Bo Bichette heals, and in the event that happens before mid-September, should shift either to a regular outfield or utility spot, either of which should still grant him effectively everyday playing time.

Where Villar, who has a .328 career on-base percentage, which he has matched so far in 2020, slots in the Blue Jays' lineup will have a bearing on whether his fantasy value significantly improves. The Blue Jays' offense has hit better in recent weeks and has been getting an offensive boost from surprisingly hitting-friendly Sahlen Field. If Villar can slide into the No. 2 role between Cavan Biggio and the Vladimir Guerrero Jr./Travis Shaw/Teoscar Hernandez trio at No. 3-4, he'll maximize his playing time while seeing a good boost in terms of runs and RBIs.

Villar was the No. 11 name on the Player Rater entering Monday, and despite the depth at shortstop, he's got a good chance at a top-eight valuation the rest of the way.

Back in Miami, Isan Diaz is expected to take over the regular second-base duties now that Villar is gone, making Diaz a strong add in 15-plus-team mixed and NL-only leagues. Diaz slashed .305/.395/.578 in 102 games in Triple-A ball in 2019, and while he's a high-strikeout, lower-average type than those numbers show -- think .250 being on the probable high end -- he has enough pop to make a difference.