Adeiny Hechavarria Rumors

Odds & Ends: Lerew, Cuba, Coonelly, Hechavarria

Links for Wednesday…


Odds & Ends: Rule 5, Jones, Hechevarria, Brewers

Links for Easter Sunday…


Odds & Ends: Gaudin, Jones, Stauffer, Oliver, Lowell

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.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Jays, Bell, Davis, Dunn

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…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


The New Market For Cuban Players

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. 


Details Emerge About Hechevarria

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.


Odds & Ends: Mateo, Kelvim Escobar, Mariners

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.

Hechevarria To Sign With Blue Jays

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.


Odds & Ends: Mauer, Strasburg, Towers, Washburn

Thursday linkage…


Adeiny Hechevarria Free To Sign

Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria is now free to sign with any team, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure. His agent, Bart Hernandez, says that he's been "unblocked" by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, giving him the freedom to sign.

Bidding for the 19-year-old could go as high as eight figures, more than the $8.2MM the Red Sox gave Jose Iglesias earlier this winter. The Angels and Blue Jays reportedly have some interest in Hechevarria, but Arangure adds in a second tweet that the Cubs and Yankees have shown heavy interest. However, Hernandez says that his client will not hold any more showcases, and is ready to begin the signing process (link goes to Arangure's Twitter).

Hernandez also says that righthander Reinier Roibal has also been unblocked, according to Arangure (link goes to Twitter).