With Matt Duffy
having another surgery last week to deal with lingering pain in his left heel and Tim Beckham
in questionable health after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand, the Rays made a move to acquire a shortstop on Monday.
The Rays acquired Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins in exchange for outfielder Braxton Lee and righthander Ethan Clark. The Rays will reportedly pay all of the $4.35 million remaining on Hechavarria’s salary.
Hechavarria is on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, but is on rehab assignment and expected to be ready soon.
The Rays drafted Clark in the 15th round in 2014 and signed him for an above-slot $127,500. Clark needed two seasons at Rookie-level Princeton but broke into full season ball this year and has had some success at low Class A Bowling Green, including just 37 hits allowed in 55 innings. Clark is a projectable 6-foot-6 righthander with intriguing, if not overwhelming, stuff. He sits 92-96 mph with his fastball and mixes in an above-average changeup. His breaking ball is promising with good spin, but he doesn’t have consistency or feel for it yet. Clark has a chance to develop as a starter, but needs a stiffer, more age-appropriate test.
|Bowling Green (LoA)||3||2||3.11||12||9||0||55||37||2||18||50||.196|
The Rays drafted Lee in the 12th round in 2014 out of Ole Miss and steadily moved him level-by-level. He was second in the Double-A Southern League in hitting with a .318 batting average at the time of the trade. Lee is a contact hitter who gets on base and is a plus runner. He is an excellent defensive outfielder who can play all three spots and has an above-average arm. He has well-below-average power, however, and profiles strictly as a speedy, lefthanded, extra-outfielder type. Lee is not an everyday player, but some evaluators believe he could hang around for a decent big league career as a backup.
Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist at shortstop and has posted an above-average Defensive Runs Saved mark in three of his four full seasons, per Baseball-Reference. That’s where Hechavarria’s value lies, because he doesn’t hit (.255 career average), get on base (.291 career OBP) or steal bases (26 career steals). Still, he is expected to shore up the Rays’ hole at shortstop when he returns from the disabled list and help their overall defensive performance.