MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs demonstrated an emphasis on versatility with their latest addition.
Infielder Jonathan Villar has agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs, multiple outlets reported Thursday.
The signing adds another player to the Cubs’ infield mix who can play multiple positions. Villar has experience at shortstop, second and third base. The switch hitter slashed .249/.322/.416 with the Mets last year.
“Rest is important in 162 [games], especially in this season with a shortened spring training,” Cubs manager David Ross said of the value of positional versatility. “Making sure we take care of the young guys, the [injury] history of some of our guys, keeping them on the field is really important to me. We’re going to be the best version of us if we keep everybody healthy and are able to keep that flexibility.”
Ross declined to talk specifically about any signing that was not yet official.
In the middle infield, the Cubs also have Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal and Andrelton Simmons. Patrick Wisdom is penciled in as the everyday third baseman.
Ross congratulates Bryant, Rizzo Báez
Of the Javy Báez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo trio, all former Cubs championship core members whom the team traded last summer, Bryant was the last left on the free agent market.
Then, Bryant reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $182 million deal with the Rockies on Wednesday.
“I was pumped for them,” Cubs manager David Ross said Thursday, adding that he sent each a congratulatory text. “Those guys are like family.”