It was reported late last week that the Tampa Bay Rays had inquired on Marlins short stop, Adeiny Hechavarria, with the Baltimore Orioles and St Louis Cardinals also being interested.
Hechavarria, 28, has only played in 20 games this season as he has been sidelined for most of the season with injuries. He has currently been on the disabled list since May 9th with a strained oblique, and is nearing the end of his rehabilitation.
A major league veteran in his sixth season, Hechavarria has never brought much on the offensive side of things, with his best season coming in 2015 where he produced 87 wRC+ (13% below league average); however, Hechavarria still accrued 3.1 fWAR that season on the strength of his defense, which the Rays are prioritizing here.
The deal is still being worked out as the two sides work to come to an agreement. The Rays are looking for the Marlins to cover the majority of Hechavarria’s remaining salary, and if they won’t, they’d like a nice power arm to come along with Hechavarria.
Jerry Crasnick suggests Kyle Barraclaugh as one of the names the Rays would be interested in, while David Phelps (formerly of the Yankees) has experience in the AL East that may be valued. It remains to be seen if a reliever is added to the mix, now or at a later time, as the Marlins look to shed salary.
In return, the Rays are sending prospects CF Braxton Lee and RHP Ethan Clark.
Lee has prodigious defense, typical of what the Rays have shown they value in previous success stories like Kevin Kiermaier or Andrew Toles, but would have been Rule 5 eligible in 2018. Given the Rays glut of outfielders, he would have found difficulty making the 40-man roster next season.
Clark is a 22-year old pitcher in Class A that has yet to replicate his great groundball rates from his two seasons in rookie ball in the Rays system. A 15th round selection from 2015, he is not dedicated to starting or relief at this time.
Neither player was featured on a top-30 prospect list this off-season.
Hechavarria has one year remaining on his contract through salary arbitration. He will be a free agent in 2019.
JT Morgan and Daniel Russell contributed to this post.