Trading Hechavarria won’t tip the Miami Marlins hand

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins have been at the center of trade rumors all season. Rebuild or reload? Trading Hechavarria doesn’t signal either.

This trade can only be a positive for the Miami Marlins. Regardless of what they receive in return for the services of Adeiny Hechavarria, moving him won’t tell us what the Marlins are thinking in terms of other personnel.

Hechavarria is expendable at this point, and the team would be foolish not to trade him. If they get a one-year loan type player, it might signal that the Marlins are interested in attempting to make a push this season. That will depend largely on the way the trade is structured, though.

Reports indicate that a trade might be coming soon, and Hechavarria might be dealt as soon as he comes off the disabled list.

There are a number of parties reportedly interested in executing the trade; the Tampa Bay Rays, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Baltimore Orioles have emerged as the favorites. All three teams would benefit from a defensive shortstop of Hechavarria’s caliber, which is of the highest order.

All three of these teams are looking to make a playoff push. The Rays and Orioles sit 2.5 games, and five games out of the AL East, respectively. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are chasing the Brewers five game lead in the NL Central.

Trading Hechavarria to a playoff team would likely mean that they’d be receiving prospects in return. Unless a team is desperate to bring Hechavarria into the fold, this largely constitutes a salary dump.

Hechavarria isn’t likely to bring in a top-tier prospect.

Salary dump doesn’t mean giving up

It appears that the Marlins will go the route of high upside, lower-level prospect in a trade for Hechavarria. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are willing to fold on the season.

With the emergence of JT Riddle, Hechavarria became an expendable asset regardless of how the season was unfolding. He provides the same production both offensively and defensively and at a fraction of the cost.

Hechavarria is making an estimated $4.3 million this year, a number that would likely spike into the $6 million range next year. Meanwhile, Riddle has years of team control ahead of him, with his rookie status intact through the 2017 season.

Moving him elsewhere is a practical and pragmatic roster move that the team would make in prudence regardless of where they stood in the standings.

We’ll know they’re hitting the reset button when…

They trade A.J. Ramos.

Ramos has been a stable arm in the bullpen, and while other teams likely wouldn’t view him as their closer, he holds the most value to teams making a run at the playoffs.

There have been reports that the team might be willing to move Kyle Barraclough also. While he might bring in a few talented minor league arms, they’d essentially be swapping an established player for one of comparable value that might not pan out. Dealing Barraclough doesn’t seem likely to me.

Next: Marlins should only deal Hechavarria to win now

The Miami Marlins are likely to trade Adeiny Hechavarria within the next few days. But that doesn’t mean that they’re willing to pull the plug on the entire season. While dealing some of the core members would mean a total reboot, trading Hechavarria is a practical trade at a position of depth.