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View from the catwalk: Framing the Adames demotion

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Is it routine and procedural, or is it a big deal?

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Topkin wrote about Willy Adames being sent back to Triple-A, to get regular playing time, saying that it’s both the Rays fault and the fault of Adames for not being “better prepared for the speed and challenges of the game”. Sure, okay, whatever.

Do not take the bait, Rays fans. This hand wringing is a lot of noise about nothing. Adames is and remains the shortstop of the future (and nothing about his short performance has changed that), while the current Rays infield remains crowded. These are the facts.

He won’t be down long. Once Manny Machado is traded the market for Adeinny Hechavarria will clarify. It’s about playing time. Prospects need playing time. Said Cash:

“We thought about it, and in fairness to Willy when we called him up … I thought I was going to be able to do a better job of kind of creating a lane. We’ve got a lot of good infielders here right now playing.’’

One thing this has nothing to do with, though, is Hechavarria’s remaining salary. From Topkin’s story:

But the reason Adames didn’t get to play shortstop as planned and as promised is because the Rays have yet to find a trade, or find a trade they deem worthy, for Adeiny Hechavarria. Or have not built up the appetite to eat the remaining $2.5 million or so he’s owed.

This is pure nonsense, and it’s the type of nonsense sports reporters write too often. The Rays have to pay that $2.5 million regardless of whether or not Hechavarria starts, sits on the bench, or is released outright with no return (no this isn’t really an option). It’s a sunk cost, so whether they’re getting value from it doesn’t matter. If the unwillingness to “eat” that money were what’s important here, Hechavarria would be DFA’d already.

But really, Hech will be traded to someone who needs a shortstop soon, and then we can stop worrying about this demotion and go back to worrying about what adjustments Adames needs to make.

Jarrid Denny, of MLB.com, wrote about the same move, but without the handwringing. But look at which one I’ve linked to first and discussed. Guess Topper knows what he’s doing.

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