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Adeiny Hechavarria Rumors
The Blue Jays announced today that they've signed Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10MM contract. The official tweet came nearly a full month since news of the agreement broke. The Blue Jays were heavily involved in Cuban free agents this winter, as they were also in the mix for Aroldis Chapman, Leslie Anderson, and Jose Julio Ruiz. The Angels, Cubs, and Yankees were competitors for Hechavarria.
Hechavarria will receive a $4MM signing bonus, $500K in 2010, $2MM in 2011, and $1.75MM in 2012, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter).
ESPN's Mark Saxon introduced us to the 19-year-old Hechavarria back in February. Cuban Ball Players provided video. Jorge Ebro at the Nuevo Herald gave more details a few weeks ago. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has brought in a nice haul of young talent in his six months on the job; check out our offseason in review piece for more details.
Monday night links..
- The Marlins won't rush prospect Mike Stanton to the majors, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says that the club is hoping to make an announcement in the next day or two, tweets Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press. However, Anthopoulos wouldn't confirm that the announcement could have to do with the signing of Adeiny Hechavarria. Last week, Hechavarria's visa was approved, opening the door for him to take his physical.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer believes that Chad Cordero could be a "useful" major leaguer again. The 28-year-old has been out of MLB for nearly two years and is attempting to mount a comeback with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate.
- Charlie Haeger went through a long journey before becoming a member of the Dodgers' rotation, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
Links for Wednesday…
- Anthony Lerew cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The Royals designated Lerew for assignment over the weekend.
- Kat O'Brien of The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a very interesting piece about what happens in Cuba once their players defect. Said one local cab driver: "[Aroldis] Chapman doesn't exist. He never existed."
- Pirates' team president Frank Coonelly chatted with fans at MLB.com. He fielded a question about what the Pirates would do with the second overall pick in June's draft if for some reason the Nationals pass on Bryce Harper.
- The Tigers released minor leaguer Kory Casto, reports Tom Gage of The Detroit News. Casto had been signed to a minor league deal after a .271/.334/.378 performance for the Nationals' Triple A club. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Nats prospects heading into the '07 season.
- Which of Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Doumit is most likely to be traded this summer? Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tackles the question.
- SI's Jon Heyman speculates that the Phillies would probably have to trade Raul Ibanez to be able to retain Jayson Werth after this season.
- Adeiny Hechavarria's visa has been approved and he's headed to the U.S. to take his physical this week for the Blue Jays, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan suggests the Rays will have long-term difficulty competing, while Jonah Keri offers a rebuttal.
- Rocco Baldelli still has hopes of playing baseball, according to this FOX Sports Florida article. He's currently rehabbing a shoulder injury and working with Rays minor leaguers.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin says the Mets will not place Canadian third base prospect Shawn Bowman on waivers until they've exhausted trade possibilites.
- In search of an accurate Mariners payroll number, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times arrives at about $93MM.
- Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies explains why free agent Braden Looper would be a good fit for Colorado. On a related note, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post learned that the Rockies are not interested in Jarrod Washburn.
- Elsewhere on the "nothing brewing" front, Jim Bowden of FOX Sports tweets that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told him the team has had no discussions regarding Pedro Martinez.
Full Story | 24 Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Anthony Lerew | Aroldis Chapman | Braden Looper | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Jarrod Washburn | Jayson Werth | Kansas City Royals | New York Mets | Paul Maholm | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Raul Ibanez | Rocco Baldelli | Ryan Doumit | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Zach Duke
Links for Easter Sunday…
- Baseball America's John Manuel provides updates on five Rule 5 picks: Carlos Monasterios with the Dodgers, John Raynor with the Pirates, Zachary Kroenke, who was optioned to the minors by the D'Backs, Kanekoa Texeira with the Mariners, and David Herndon with the Phillies.
- Peter Gammons previews storylines for the 2010 season, such as emerging stars, prospects of the future, a slew of contenders, and the ever-present unpredictability of baseball.
- Dave Campbell of the AP looks at Jacque Jones and how Minnesota's late-season surge in 2009 inspired a comeback attempt for 2010 when he was on the verge of retirement. Jones is reporting to Triple-A Rochester after hitting .366/.409/.585 with the Twins this spring.
- In an interview with Mike Wilner of the FAN 590 in Toronto, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said while the team hasn't officially said anything about Adeiny Hechevarria, international cases like his are often slowed by visa issues and other approval processes.
- Tom Haudricourt tweets that there will be no last-minute changes to the Brewers 25-man roster.
- The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser spoke with recently-DFA'ed Jack Cust, who is shocked and offended by the move. Cust says he will accept a minor league assignment if he clears waivers, but won't let Oakland "walk all over" him. The 31-year-old slugger has led the A's in home runs the past three seasons. Slusser takes a deeper look at the Cust move in a separate piece.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at what the Cubs' performance in 2010 means to Jim Hendry's job, and talks to several players about their positive relationships with the Chicago GM.
- Elliot Johnson cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Durham, according to Marc Topkin. He adds that the Rays have set their roster and are waiting to hear from Hank Blalock on whether or not he'll accept a minor league assignment.
Full Story | 18 Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Alex Anthopoulos | Arizona Diamondbacks | Chicago Cubs | David Herndon | Elliot Johnson | Hank Blalock | Jack Cust | Jacque Jones | John Raynor | Kanekoa Texeira | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Zach Kroenke
Links for Saturday…
- The Phillies considered Chad Gaudin according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, but they decided he wasn't enough of an upgrade over what they already have in-house.
- The Twins have informed Jacque Jones that he will not make the team, reports MLB.com's Kelly Thesier. Minnesota brought the long time Twin back on a minor league deal in February.
- On the heels of another strong outing from Tim Stauffer, MLB.com's Corey Brock speculates (via Twitter) that the Padres could receive a mid-level prospect from a team in need of pitching if they opted to trade him. Stauffer's four shutout innings today lowered his spring ERA to a tidy 2.57 with an 11:3 K:BB ratio through 14 innings.
- Jon Paul Morosi tells the great story of Darren Oliver's resurgence after nearly retiring in 2005 and wonders who the next veteran will be to make a similar run.
- Doug Mientkiewicz was told he will not make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, according to a report from the Associated Press. Mientkiewicz was excused from camp today so he can weigh his options in regards to his future in baseball.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says Mike Lowell's injury "almost kills his trade value, which was already low to begin with." Lowell suffered a knee contusion when he fouled a ball off his left knee Friday.
- Blue Jays' team president and CEO Paul Beeston chatted with fans on the team's official site yesterday. He discussed the latest on Adeiny Hechevarria and the club's policy on long-term contracts, among other topics.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says that some general managers believe the reason there's so little movement on the trade front is because there are still viable alternatives on the free agent market.
- As Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune notes, Joe Mauer's new deal may have turned one of the team's top prospects in a prime piece of trade bait.
- New Padres' GM Jed Hoyer isn't as brash as Kevin Towers used to be, writes Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Full Story | 36 Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Boston Red Sox | Chad Gaudin | Darren Oliver | Doug Mientkiewicz | Jacque Jones | Jed Hoyer | Joe Mauer | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mike Lowell | Minnesota Twins | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Texas Rangers | Tim Stauffer | Toronto Blue Jays
On this date in 2002, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network launched. Although the regional network barely broke even that year, YES has gone on to generate millions in revenue, much of which goes right into the Yankees' pockets. As recently as 2008, there was talk that the network was worth more than the team itself.
After you wrap your head around that, here are some links to check out from around the baseball blogosphere…
- The Baseball Opinion says that the Adeiny Hechevarria signing caps off an impressive offseason for new GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- The Friarhood examines the trade market for Padres' closer Heath Bell.
- Phillies Nation has some fun with internal discussions after the Albert Pujols–Ryan Howard rumors.
- DRays Bay wonders if Andy Sonnanstine will start the season in Tampa's rotation so they can send Wade Davis to the minors and push his service time clock back.
- Around The Majors wonders if the Nationals should really be trying to sign Adam Dunn to a contract extension.
- The Dodgerhater says that Sergio Romo and Dan Runzler are the key to San Francisco's bullpen this year.
- Bronx Bombers Beat wonders if Robinson Cano can take that next step towards being a middle of the order hitter for a team with some aging core hitters.
- SPANdemonium looks at some players drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft who have already had an impact in the big leagues.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Full Story | 7 Comments | Categories: Adam Dunn | Adeiny Hechavarria | Albert Pujols | Alex Anthopoulos | Andy Sonnanstine | Baseball Blogs Weigh In | Dan Runzler | Heath Bell | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Robinson Cano | Ryan Howard | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Sergio Romo | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Wade Davis | Washington Nationals
When you think about Cuban players that signed with a Major League team this past offseason, the first name that will come to mind is Aroldis Chapman and his six-year, $30.25MM contract. However, as ESPN's Jorge Arangure writes, the contracts signed by Jose Iglesias, Adeiny Hechevarria, and Noel Arguelles may dictate the future of the Cuban market.
Arangure notes that at this time last year, Iglesias and Arguelles were expected to command only $1-2MM on the open market. They, of course, signed for $8.25MM and $6.9MM, respectively. If those players meet expectations, not only will teams start to specifically target Cuban prospects, but players in Cuba will surely take notice and attempt to defect at a younger age.
Even though players like Hechevarria and Iglesias are college-aged, they're perceived to be more advanced than their American counterparts because they've faced tougher competition growing up. However, for every Kendry Morales making an impact in the big leagues, there's a Juan Miranda stuck in Triple-A. The risk associated with young players is the same no matter where they come from, but the Cuban market is getting more and more expensive.
Jorge Ebro at the Nuevo Herald interviewed newly signed Blue Jays prospect Adeiny Hechevarria in Spanish, digging out a few fresh insights concerning both the signing and the 19-year-old Cuban shortstop's potential.
Hechevarria avoids saying directly that the Blue Jays aren't the team of his teenage dreams, but he lets slip that he "played shortstop for Santiago imagining that it was Yankee Stadium." Nevertheless, Ebro notes that Hechevarria turned down an offer from the Yankees in the hopes of rising more quickly to prominence in Toronto's system. The New York Post's George King II wrote three days ago that the Yankees were likely willing to offer similar money to Toronto, and more recently, the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott quoted an unnamed executive as saying that "the word in the scouting community" was that the Yankees' offer was larger Toronto's winning bid of $10MM for four years.
Shortstop for the Blue Jays has been a sorespot in terms of both reliable production and reliable attendance since back when the team was a perpetual contender, as last year's .789 OPS by Marco Scutaro was the highest by a Blue Jays shortstop logging at least 500 PAs since Tony Fernandez in 1987. Over those ensuing years, other AL East teams have built their lineups around the likes of Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, and Miguel Tejada. Even the Rays have been able to bank on shortstop with more reliability than the Jays, as Tampa Bay's recent history has witnessed the best years of Julio Lugo's career and the arrival of Jason Bartlett.
But what to expect from Hechevarria himself? In the absence of minor league stats and scouting reports, Ebro's sources reach for comparisons. One scout labels him "an Alfonso Soriano who can defend," while another describes him as more polished than last year's highly regarded Cuban shortstop prospect, Jose Iglesias, who will start the season in Double A Portland for the Red Sox. Comparisons between the two prospects are seemingly inevitable, for reasons of age (Iglesias is 20), nationality, contract size, and because Hechevarria got the nod over Iglesias at short for the Cuban team at the World Baseball Junior Championships in 2007.
Elliott at the Toronto Sun quotes an AL executive who calls Hechevarria "a much better player" than Iglesias, while another official from a team who made an offer to Hechevarria labeled him "probably more of a fielder than a hitter" for the time being, albeit one who will be "pretty offensive when it all plays out." Like Iglesias, Hechevarria will likely start out at Double A, notes Dave Perkins at the Toronto Star.
All comparisons with other prospects aside, though, Ebro's article starts out by comparing Hechevarria's potential to the next few years of his idol, Jeter, and writers in New York have noted the comparison as well. Mike Vaccaro at the New York Post most recently wrote that Hechevarria was widely believed to be "earmarked for the Yankees," and that that missing out on Hechevarria shows the team's commitment to an iconic shortstop who "will have to morph from shortstop into either a left fielder or a full time designated hitter" by the end of his next contract—especially if that contract stretches to six years, as Jon Heyman recently posited.
According to some, though, Hechevarria's future isn't even at short. One scout tells Elliott that the prospect's skills will eventually put him in the outfield, while Vaccaro notes that Hechevarria's bat could translate well to second base or center field, just one more reason why the newest Blue Jay "made all the sense in the world" for the Yankees.
Links to kick off the work week…
- Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo is scheduled to work out for the Diamondbacks today, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Mateo's reps don't share the Cardinals' concerns about Mateo's vision.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Rays came second in the Kelvim Escobar bidding, offering $600K. Unlike the Mets, the Rays saw Escobar as a second half contributor.
- Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post thinks stat lovers themselves "may be the new inefficiency in the market," making Adam Dunn a bargain at three years and $40MM even if his defense doesn't improve.
- FanGraphs' Dave Cameron explains why the Astros and Royals sit at the bottom of his organizational rankings.
- SI's Jon Heyman names his "bests" for 2010, with the Angels getting the nod for the best rotation top to bottom. Heyman also talks about Jarrod Washburn, considered a person of interest for Seattle.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Ms are "still pondering backup catching options from outside." There aren't too many available backstops who can be considered clear improvements.
- In his latest GM's Corner video for FOX Sports, Jim Bowden gathers all the GMs involved in the Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee deals. Alex Anthopoulos mentioned that Ruben Amaro Jr. would not include Kyle Drabek or Domonic Brown when Halladay was discussed at the GM Meetings, but relented on Drabek a few weeks later.
- Dustin Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans says "the team has put its money where its mouth is" by signing Adeiny Hechevarria.
Full Story | 42 Comments | Categories: Adam Dunn | Adeiny Hechavarria | Arizona Diamondbacks | Houston Astros | Jarrod Washburn | Kansas City Royals | Kelvim Escobar | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | New York Mets | Philadelphia Phillies | Roy Halladay | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Wagner Mateo | Washington Nationals
10:54pm: A source confirmed that Hechevarria has agreed to a $10MM contract with Toronto, tweets Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated. The deal is for four years, a source tells Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (via Twitter).
3:22pm: Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos would neither confirm or deny the report, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
2:34pm: Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria is close to signing a $10MM deal with the Blue Jays, writes George King III of the New York Post. The 19-year-old is close to choosing Toronto over the Yankees because he was leery of Derek Jeter's impending extension which would keep him at short for the foreseeable future. King infers that the Yankees were willing to spend similar money to land him.
Just over a week ago, Hechevarria was "unblocked" by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, giving him the freedom to sign with any team. If the Toronto deal comes to fruition, Hechevarria's contract will top the $8.2MM given to Jose Iglesias by the Red Sox last July.