The Miami Marlins are looking to trade veteran shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, according to a source with direct knowledge, as reported in my column in Thursday morning’s print version of The Miami Herald.
Subsequent to that report, Yahoo baseball reporter Jeff Passan tweeted: “Rival execs say Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria will be traded in next few days. Miami still shopping offers... Hechavarria is an interesting play. Bat hasn't developed, but glove is elite, and with him not hitting FA until after 2018, there's value.”
Tampa Bay and Baltimore have both inquired about Hechavarria, according to my Herald colleague, Clark Spencer.
The Marlins have multiple reasons for dealing Hechavarria:
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• Previous attempts to extend his contract were rejected - the sides were far apart on money - and the Marlins are resigned to losing him when he becomes a free agent after 2018.
• Hechavarria is earning $4.35 million. J.T. Riddle and Miguel Rojas are considerably cheaper, each earning less than $550,000, with Riddle’s salary prorated based on days spent in the big leagues.
• After watching Riddle play the past month, the Marlins believe they would not lose much, if anything, by playing Riddle and Rojas at shortstop. Riddle would be viewed as the likely starter, if he’s playing well, even when Rojas returns.
Riddle, drafted by the Marlins in the 13th round of the amateur draft out of the University of Kentucky, began the season in the minors but was promoted after Hechavarria sustained an oblique injury.
He is hitting .248 with three homers, 23 RBI and nine doubles in 47 games. He has committed seven errors.
Rojas, who has been sidelined since May 9 with a thumb injury, is due back around the All-Star game. He’s highly skilled defensively and batted .247 last season and .338 this season in 24 games.
Hechavarria, meanwhile, regressed offensively since batting .281 in 2015. He hit .236 last season and was hitting .277 this season in 20 games but has missed considerable time on two occasions because of a strained left oblique muscle.
He’s now in the midst of a minor-league rehabilation stint.
Hechavarria has been one of the game’s best defensive shortstops in recent years. He had nine errors in 2015, 13 in 2016 and none in 19 games in the field this season.
Hechavarria has hit .255 with 15 homers, 183 RBI, 78 doubles and 31 triples over parts of six big-league seasons, covering 640 games, his first with Toronto and past five with the Marlins.
But the Marlins believe they would be fine at shortstop with Riddle and Rojas, who will be under team control - and very reasonably priced - for several years.