Rays News

Rays Acquire Adeiny Hechavarria from Miami Marlins

By Althea Pashman
Apr 11, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (3) slides safely into third base on a single by catcher J.T. Realmuto (11, not pictured) in the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (3) slides safely into third base on a single by catcher J.T. Realmuto (11, not pictured) in the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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In somewhat of a surprising trade though rumored for the past couple of days, the Tampa Bay Rays have acquired shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Miami Marlins .

We are still a full month away from the trade deadline and the Tampa Bay Rays have become early buyers as they have pulled off their second deal within one week as they have added Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for two minor leaguers, outfielder Braxton Lee and right-handed pitcher Ethan Clark.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald was the first to report the trade and that it had been finalized, pending medical reviews. Specifics of the deal according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is that the Rays will be paying all of Hechavarria’s remaining salary which will be $2.35 million, plus the Rays will have control for 2018 when he is again eligible for arbitration.

Meanwhile, Hechavarria comes to the Rays on the DL and he will remain on the DL, though he could return shortly. The Rays transferred Diego Moreno from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to accommodate Hechavarria on the 40-man roster.

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From all indications, the Marlins have been looking for a trade partner for Hechavarria for sometime, mainly because of his salary (another salary dump) as the deal will save them the $2.33 of the $4.35 million and because they intend to go with rookie JT Riddle as their shortstop.

Limited to only 20 games batting .277/.288/.385 prior to sustaining a strained oblique and placed on the 10-day DL more than a month ago, Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who will give the Rays an upgrade at shortstop for the time being. Career wise in six seasons with the Blue Jays and Marlins, Hechavarria line is .255/.291/.337 with 15 home runs

Both of the minor league players, Lee and Clark that the Rays will send the Marlins do not rank among the Rays top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, however they will add depth to the Marlins farm system which according to Spencer is depleted.

Lee is currently playing with Double-A Montgomery where he is hitting .321/..391/.401 with two home runs, nine doubles, three triples and 16 RBIs in 67 games, while Clark, was at Single-A Bowling Green pitching to a 3-2 record with a 3.11 ERA, and 50 strikeouts in 55 innings. He has appeared in 12 games, nine coming as a starter.

Speculation on my part is that Matt Duffy who underwent another procedure on his heel last week to remove a pea-size calcium deposit is further away from returning and with the Rays hanging strong in the AL East, want to sure-up the middle of the diamond.

In Duffy’s absence, Beckham has done an admirable job in what was supposed to be a short-term fix. However, with the season nearing the halfway mark, Duffy remains sidelined and Beckham’s poor defense at shortstop is really beginning to show.

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Beckham has committed nine errors in 237 chances over 68 games for a .962 fielding percentage, the third most in the AL and comes in with a -5 Rtot – Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average and a -1 Rdrs – Defensive Runs Saved over this span.

While Hechavarria does not have Tim Beckham‘s 2017 offensive line (.278/.327/.437, 10 HR), he has him beat defensively which is what the Rays really need. According to MLBTradeRumors, Hechavarria showed defensive excellence at shortstop from 2015-2016 with a +18 Defensive Runs Saved and a +24.1 Ultimate Zone Rating.

As well, there could be more to this trade than what is being said as Marc Topkin raises some interesting points – is Duffy finished for the season, did Beckham sustain a more serious injury to his wrist than just a bone bruise, or is it just that the Rays want/need to upgrade the position and move Beckham to second with Daniel Robertson going back to a bench role?

The question though is where is Brad Miller in all this? With Beckham essentially moving to second, does this mean that Miller’s injury is more serious that just a groin strain which he sustained days after from returning from a prior DL stint for a lower abdominal strain?

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Top Minor League Performers

A healthy Adeiny Hechavarria is hopefully what the Rays will get, and that he can live up to his defensive abilities and tighten the middle of the infield as the season heads into the dog days of summer.

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