Rays Acquire Hechavarria For Two Minor Leaguers
The Tampa Bay Rays have three obvious soft-spots on their roster. The first and most pressing need is their bullpen where they are tied for second in the American League in blown saves. The second is hitting against left handed pitching. They are second to last in the American League in that category, batting just .232 (187-for-806). Finally, their defense, especially up the middle needs to be improved.
Every move the front office makes between now and the trade deadline will be tilted toward improving one of those three areas. While building a bullpen usually is accomplished toward the end of July, the other areas can be addressed earlier.
The front office already acquired right handed hitting Trevor Plouffe to help against left handed pitching. This, along with the addition of Wilson Ramos, should begin to move the offense up the ranks against left-handed pitchers.
Hechavarria, 27, has missed the last month due to an oblique strain but is close to returning to the field. Hechavarria is one of the better shortstop in baseball, registering a +18 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and a +24.1 Ultimate Zone Rating. He doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, as he is a lifetime .255/.291/.337.
The Rays assume the remainder of his $4.35MM salary (~$2.33MM) and control him for the 2018 season through the arbitration process. They will have to make a move on both the 40-man and 25-man to add Hec
Who The Rays Gave Up:
Braxton Lee, 23, was drafted by the Rays in the 12th round in 2014. He was currently playing with the Rays Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits where he was batting .318/.387/.391 spanning 296 plate appearances.
Ethan Clark, 22, was drafted by the Rays in 15th round in 2015. He was currently playing with the Rays’ Low-A affiliate Bowling Green Hot Rods. He was 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA spanning 12 games (nine starts).