It’s no secret that the Rays need to move Adeiny Hechavarria, who has shown to have an elite defensive profile, but is hampered by his roller coaster offense. His position on the starting roster had recently been filled by top offensive prospect Willy Adames, and the Rays have Matt Duffy, Daniel Robertson, Christian Arroyo, and Joey Wendle all crowding the infield.
“La Pantera” has an 83 wRC+ thus far in 2018, which matches his mark last year between the Marlins and Rays, although it should be noted he performed stronger in the second half of last season in Tampa Bay with a 92 wRC+. He also recently recovered from his second hamstring injury in two seasons.
It’s quite likely the Rays may not find a trade partner for Hechavarria, as the market for short stops will be held hostage by Manny Machado until the trade deadline; however, there are some teams that could use an immediate upgrade at short stop where a deal could make sense.
Philadelphia recently lost infielder J.P. Crawford for 4-6 weeks due to a fractured hand, and have had to rely on a mix of Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery to man the left side of the infield. It’s not an ideal situation to say the least, with Kingery already racking up -7 DRS this season from short.
The Phillies fancy themselves contenders and seem a logical trade partner for Machado. Bringing in Hechavarria even as a stop gap would be a wise move, providing long term defensive insurance should a trade for the O’s star not get completed, and while offering a short term stop gap from the bleeding.
How desperate are the Brewers for infield help? The Rays recently traded Brad Miller to Milwaukee after he was designated for assignment, and the Brewers stashed him in Triple-A in order to allow him to transition back to short stop. It’s an interesting gambit, but not one likely to succeed.
Hechavarria is a clear upgrade at a premium position, and even offers an upgrade on offense, where Brewers short stops are hitting a league-worst 42 wRC+. The Brewers will be looking for every edge they can find to stay in first place of the AL Central (where they are tied with the Cubs in the standings, as of publishing).
Los Angeles Dodgers
A main suitor for Manny Machado, the Dodgers have breakout center fielder Chris Taylor manning short stop following Corey Seager’s need for Tommy John surgery.
The need for Hech’ in this situation depends on how comfortable Andrew Friedman and Co. are with the platoon of Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez in center field. It’s sufficient, but it may not be a long term answer for a team pursuing October baseball.
The Diamondbacks recently upgraded their outfield through the addition of Jon Jay, but could truly use help in the infield where Jake Lamb has struggled on both sides of the ball.
A forward looking franchise, the Diamondbacks have a heavily platooned roster, often platooning multiple infield positions each game. Adding another piece to their puzzle may play into the strategy that’s kept AZ atop the NL West.
Trading Hechavarria will not be easy. Finishing out the last year of his contract, Hech’ will neither demand a huge return in trade or carry the bat to have much allure. Teams are likely to take a wait and see, as he has the profile players typically dealt on a waiver claim; but on the other hand, top flight short stop defense is not common.
A trade just might be possible, for those teams waiting for Manny Machado looking for a temporary fix, and for those who simply want to upgrade their defense overall.
Hechavarria should have a home on some major league roster through the end of the year, and if there is not trade partner, it could even be here as the Rays wait until the trade deadline.
How will the Rays handle the Hechavarria roster crunch?
This poll is closed
Trade to Phillies
Trade to Brewers
Trade to Dodgers
Trade to Diamondbacks
No trade - stays with Tampa Bay
No trade - wait for the deadline
No trade - Rays must DFA