4:35pm: Hechavarria recently triggered an opt-out clause in his deal, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (via Twitter), thus forcing the Mets to decide between bringing him onto the MLB roster and allowing him to become a free agent.
Notably, he has agreed to an advance consent clause with the Mets, Tim Britton of The Athletic tweets. If the club outrights Hechavarria, and he clears waivers, he will not be able to elect free agency while still receiving his full remaining MLB salary (as players with 5+ years of service are allowed to do by rule).
Righty Drew Smith was shifted to the 60-day IL to create 40-man roster space.
4:13pm: The Mets have selected the contract of veteran infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, the club tells reporters including Tim Britton of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll take the active roster spot of first baseman Dominic Smith, who was optioned back to Triple-A.
The 30-year-old Hechavarria is a slick-fielding shortstop who settled for a minor-league pact this winter. He’ll boost the club’s defensive flexibility, though he isn’t historically much with the bat. Hechavarria is off to a strong start at Triple-A (.348/.382/.446 in 102 plate appearances).
Smith, 23, has hit quite well in limited chances this year in the big leagues. Through 37 plate appearances, the former top prospect owns a .333/.459/.400 slash with six walks against just seven strikeouts. Unfortunately, he’s a bit buried on the depth chart. Carrying a lefty bench bat of this sort is something of a luxury for a National League team. It’s certainly possible to imagine Smith reemerging to play an important role if a need arises; he might also become interesting trade bait.