2:19pm: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the two sides are reviewing medicals of the players that will be involved. Topkin hears that outfielder Braxton Lee and right-hander Ethan Clark are among the names being discussed.
11:45am: Crasnick reports that if the Rays are to take on all of Hechavarria’s salary, they’d like the Marlins to include a cheaper, controllable power arm to help facilitate the deal (Twitter links). Crasnick notes that Barraclough would fit that bill, though he adds that it’s not clear if the Rays have actually singled Barraclough out as a target.
Meanwhile, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Rays and Marlins are optimistic that they can reach an agreement to send Hechavarria to Tampa Bay in exchange for “fringe prospects” at some point today.
JUNE 26, 8:40am: The Marlins are close to a trade of Hechavarria, tweets MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Like Frisaro, Morosi hears that the Rays are the likeliest landing spot for Hechavarria.
10:42pm: The Rays seem to be the “frontrunners” in talks, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets. Miami is looking for young pitching in return for Hechavarria.
JUNE 25, 10:20pm: The Padres have joined the Rays in the Hechavarria sweepstakes, Clark Spencer reports (via Twitter). The Cardinals are no longer involved in talks.
JUNE 24, 12:07pm: The Orioles are no longer involved, per Spencer (Twitter link). But he hears that the Cards (as well as the Rays) are still in talks for Hechavarria.
8:26am: There’s at least one mystery team involved, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter).
JUNE 23: The Marlins have informed other clubs that they expect to trade Hechavarria within the next 24 to 48 hours, Spencer reports (on Twitter). It seems the push from the Marlins’ side is driven by an ownership effort to save salary rather than a baseball ops assessment, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick notes on Twitter.
It appears that the Rays appear to have “created some traction” in structuring a deal, sources suggest to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the Cardinals don’t seem to be pursuing Hechavarria at this point, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. St. Louis had at least spoken to the Marlins about Hechavarria, tweets Spencer.
JUNE 22: The Marlins are likely to trade shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria within the “next few days,” sources tell Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Miami is still said to be working on getting offers for the veteran, who Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald noted was on the block this morning.
Among the teams looking into a deal are the Rays and Orioles, per the Herald’s Clark Spencer (Twitter link). Just what kind of return the Fish can expect for Hechavarria isn’t clear. He’s on the DL presently, though he’ll likely be ready to return soon. And despite his defensive excellence, Hechavarria has never really come around with the bat. He’s controllable for one more season via arbitration and is currently earning $4.35MM.
Once a fairly high-profile signing out of Cuba, Hechavarria has produced only at a .255/.291/.337 batting line through just over 2400 trips to the plate. He looked to have turned somewhat of a corner in the 2015 season, when he produced at a near league-average clip (.281/.315/.374), but since that time his bat has regressed to a .241/.283/.319 pace through 614 trips to the dish.
Hechavarria, though, has rated brilliantly at shortstop in recent years, turning in a combined 18 defensive runs saved while registering at an even better +24.1 in the estimation of Ultimate Zone Rating. That glovework figures to make him attractive at least as a bench option, though the Orioles are in need of more than that at present due to an injury to J.J. Hardy that could sideline him for nearly two months.
Hechavarria’s salary undoubtedly plays a role in Miami’s desire to move him, but the larger reason is likely the arrival of prospect JT Riddle on the scene. While Riddle’s overall .248/.270/.383 batting line isn’t all that impressive, he’s picked up the pace over the past month or so, slashing .273/.301/.406 with a pair of homers, nine doubles and a triple in 136 plate appearances.
Miami is also willing to discuss relievers AJ Ramos, David Phelps, and perhaps Kyle Barraclough, Passan tweets. Both Ramos and Phelps are earning fairly well in 2017, with respective salaries of $6.55MM and $4.6MM, and each is controllable through the 2018 campaign via arbitration.
Barraclough, meanwhile, is not yet arbitration eligible and figures to come with a much larger price tag in a potential trade. He’s controllable through the 2021 season and has demonstrated enormous strikeout potential (12.4 K/9 in 129 1/3 career innings) but also troubling control issues (5.9 BB/9).