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In Before the Clock Struck 12: Yankees-Pirates Swap Adeiny Hechavarria for PTBNL

Before the clock struck midnight and playoff eligibility for a traded player was nullified, the Yankees made a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for their SS of 15 games: Adeiny Hechavarria.

Hechavarria has hit .254/.287/.342 (75 OPS+) over 76 games this season, totaling 0.9 bWAR while playing SS for the Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates. He has been limited to only 76 games due to a right hamstring injury that sidelined him for about a month between May and June. The Pirates picked him up off of waivers earlier in August (trading RHP Matt Seelinger to the Rays).

His value is coming to the Yankees as a defensive-first specialty, and will most likely see most of his time as a late-game defensive replacement and extra depth piece as to not overuse SS Didi Gregorius (as he looks to come back Monday from a left heel contusion) and 2B/SS Gleyber Torres.

As with the McCutchen post yesterday, I have some quick notes about Heckavarria:

Note One: Defense

Since breaking into the majors Hechavarria has been almost exclusively a shortstop but was used as a utility infielder for the Blue Jays in 2012, where he played 18 games at third and 8 games at second base.

This season, Hechavarria has been a positive on the defensive side of the ball yet again, with a solid UZR/150 of 3.9 this season. Fangraphs also ranks his defense as 4.7 runs better than average, which fits in right between Didi (9.0 runs) and Torres (-4.6 runs).

Once again, the Yankees almost definitely acquired Hechavarria for his defensive prowess, which can be seen at its peak from his 2015 highlights with the Marlins.


Note Two: Base-Running

Given how the roster-expansion in September almost always includes a team calling up a speed-first player for hopes of a late-game steal/grabbing the extra base, I wouldn’t expect Hechavarria to be the player use in this role. (Instead, that will probably go to Tyler Wade.) However, that isn’t to say Hech isn’t a solid baserunner.

His rate stats would leave something to be desired on the base-running front (only 6 SB over a 162 game average), but he has consistently rated as a just-better-than-average runner over his past three seasons.

Once again, this will probably not the role the Yankees utilize him in, but it would be wrong for me to write a post about Hech without including this crazy slide (reminiscent of Ichiro) from earlier this year:


Note Three: Final Notes

It would be pointless for me to examine Hechavarria as a hitter (75 OPS+), because he has never ranked as a positive offensive player during a single season in his career. He will hit the occasional home run, and extra-base hit, but he’s pretty much Jace Peterson (73 OPS+) when it comes to the plate.

Instead, i’m using this final note to add some cool photos of the guy and ome twitter reactions/news involving the trade:

The @Yankees have acquired SS Adeiny Hechavarria and cash considerations from Pittsburgh in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, the @Yankees have designated LHP Ryan Bollinger for assignment. — Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) September 1, 2018
Truly don’t think #Yankees acquiring Adeiny Hechavarria has anything to do with Didi Gregorius, but, hey, I could totally be wrong. New York‘s defense has been a huge question mark in ‘18. Hechavarria gives them infield depth, and he gives them a really good glove. — Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) September 1, 2018
@Yankees Waiver Trade Deadline Additions: – OF Andrew McCutchen (Giants) – Cash Considerations (Giants) – SS Adeiny Hechavarria (Pirates) – Cash Considerations (Pirates) — Yankee Pinstripes (@YankPinstripes) September 1, 2018


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