Rumor has it Hechavarria could be on the move any day now. The trade only makes sense if it helps the Marlins have a winning season in 2017.
I’m a little surprised we’re having this conversation before he is even reinstated. I thought that he would be allowed to his job back, or to receive regular at bats. At least long enough to boost his value a bit.
And maybe in the meantime, another shortstop or two gets hurt, increasing the asking price on the open market. Plenty of time until July 31st after all.
That Hechavarria has been Wally Pipped by JT Riddle should be no breaking news to anyone that has been watching the Marlins over the past month. Many fans are positively giddy at the news. Hechavarria has been derided since he failed to reproduce his 2015 batting numbers last season.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never understood the hate. Alex Gonzalez was a terrible hitter and never drew the kind of animosity Hechavarria has. The defensive skills are comparable though- Hechavarria is widely regarded as one of the game’s premium defensive talents at shortstop.
If Andrelton Simmons had played his whole career in the American League, Hech would very likely have won a Gold Glove by now. When you have the kind of offensive pop the Marlins enjoy throughout the rest of the lineup, you can afford to have a defense first option at the most important defensive position.
Odd man out
Again, Riddle has done everything he could to win the job. His defense has been solid. His bat has been better than Hechavarria’s, and his inexperience allows for the belief he will only improve. Plus, before Riddle broke out, we were having this same conversation about the soon to be reinstated Miguel Rojas.
The Fish are deep at short, and if you were ranking the options by offense only, Hechavarria would easily rank third. In short, pun intended, he’s become expendable and expensive. That’s a dangerous combination if you want to keep playing for the Miami Marlins.
But he’s still valuable. Even the most ardent haters can hopefully steer themselves clear to agree Hechavarria is better than Christian Colon. That bungled ball in the infield that helped cost the Marlins the Braves series? You better believe Hechavarria makes that play.
Starting him would dramatically deepen Miami’s short bench. He’s also not a free-agent until 2019. There’s no rush on moving him. The Marlins can move him in the offseason, after a full year of evaluating Riddle.
Why pull the trigger?
The only excusable reason for moving Adeiny Hechavarria now is if it is in exchange for something that helps the Miami Marlins win this season.
If Michael Hill can swing a good relief prospect that is MLB ready, or a one year rental on a back of the rotation starting pitcher that would be an upgrade over what the Marlins have, then I’m all for it. I’ll even help Adeiny pack. Anything that has a chance to help this year’s ballclub.
But if this is just a money move, or just about adding a Single A prospect or two, then that’s pretty pathetic. Not to mention a terrible message to send to the team in the wake of their biggest series win of the season. Which I have to assume they know.
That would mean the plug is being pulled. For the sake of the Miami Marlins remaining in the clubhouse, I hope the deal is for relief reinforcements, and not just salary relief.