The Miami Marlins Should Resign Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 06: Adeiny Hechavarria #3 of the Miami Marlins looks on during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 6, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 06: Adeiny Hechavarria #3 of the Miami Marlins looks on during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 6, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins should resign Adeiny Hechavarria for the 2020 season.

Remember back when we were closing on the 2017 trade deadline, when we were all hots on for nowhere trying to find out what we could get in return for Adeiny Hechavarria? Apparently, he was holding up the progression of heir-apparent J.T. Riddle to his rightful spot at starting shortstop with the Miami Marlins. Sometimes, you have to be careful what you wish for.

Since leaving the Miami Marlins, Hechavarria has performed about how you would expect – a light bat and a solid fielder. What you couldn’t have known is just how circuitous would be Hechavarria’s route through the major leagues. In two seasons plus two months, he’s played for the Tampa Bay Rays (with whom the Miami Marlins made the trade in the first place), the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, and the Atlanta Braves.

Since leaving, Hechavarria has played in 255 games for those five ball clubs at the major league level, and has hit .249 with 22 homers, 88 RBI, and nine stolen bases. He’s struck out 164 times, while drawing 46 walks. Compared to his time with the Miami Marlins, and he hasn’t seemed to have lost a step on that side of the ball. With Miami, he slashed .255/.292/.336 in 599 contests overall, from 2013 through 2017. In case you forgot, he was also a freakin’ wizard (see video).

Defensively, Hechavarria has been worth a collected seven runs above average for his position at the six. That’s around par for the course as far as Hechavarria goes. In short, he’s the same guy he was with the Miami Marlins.

In return for Hechavarria, the Miami Marlins gained Ethan Clark (released) and Braxton Lee (waived then claimed by the Mets).

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – JULY 24: Adeiny Hechavarria #3 of the Miami Marlins hits a single during the second inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on July 24, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Filling Hechavarria’s spot on the field and in the lineup was mostly the aforementioned Riddle (125 starts), and the just-hitting-his-stride Miguel Rojas (266 starts), who was recently signed for two more seasons on a team-friendly deal. Others to man the position were Jon Berti (32 starts), Yadiel Rivera (36 starts), Mike Aviles (12 starts), Starlin Castro (three starts), Deven Marrero (two starts), and Rosell Herrera (one start).

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Riddle has gone on to slash .229/.269/.368, with 18 homers and 79 RBI. He also has 159 strikeouts in 718 plate appearances, with 37 walks. Basically, nearly the same output as Hechavarria, only twenty points lower with basically the same defensive footprint. Only Rojas is a viable long-term option, however if you have a Hechavarria to play shortstop, wouldn’t you be better served to play your super-utility-guy wherever you need him?

Hechavarria would probably sign for the veteran’s minimum if pressed. Why not lock up a proven commodity at shortstop for pennies on the dollar while one of the Miami Marlins shortstop prospects matures in the minors. I’m referring to the shortstop corps that includes Jazz Chisholm, Joe Dunand, Bryson Brigman, Demetrius Sims, Jose Devers, Christopher Torres, Osiris Johnson, and Nasim Nunez. One of those guys is going to emerge in time, and my money is on Chisholm, Sims, or Johnson. In the meantime, Hechavarria’s the way to go.

Agree? Disagree? Please let me know in the comments. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins.

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