Saturday, September 1, 2018

Yankees Acquire Adeiny Hechavarria, Whom Boone Calls "A Premium Defender"

Adeiny Hechavarria with Tampa Bay earlier this season.

Late Friday night, the Yankees acquired SS Adeiny Hechavarria and cash considerations from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Hechavarria, 29, is batting .254 (66-for-260) with 4 home runs and 29 RBI, along with 31 runs and 11 doubles, in 76 combined games with the Tampa Bay Rays (61G) and Pittsburgh (15G) this season.

This acquisition shows the Yankees feel they need depth at shortstop if Didi Gregorius, who is suffering from a heel injury, does not come back as quickly as hoped.

"Just a premium defender at shortstop," is how Yankees Manager Aaron Boone described him on Saturday afternoon. "I see the potential tomorrow against the lefty, maybe having him in there. In that case, we can bump Gleyber (Torres) back to second. I think there's some potential games in there for him until we get Didi back where we would play him at shortstop, and if that's the case, we'll move Gleyber back to second. I just feel like we really add to our strength up the middle. We just really like his defensive capabilities and that element that he gives us while Didi's down and even after that, potentially just having some defensive flexibility, even late in games."

On the final day of the waiver trade deadline, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman took care of his two biggest needs, a backup for Gregorius, and with the Andrew McCutchen trade early Friday, a solid veteran outfielder  in case Aaron Judge continues to miss significant time coming back from a wrist injury.

Hehavarria is a seven-year Major League veteran who has played for Toronto (2012), Miami (2013-2017), Tampa Bay (2017-18) and Pittsburgh (2018), he owns a career batting average of .255 (707-for-2,773) with 26HR, 236RBI, 267R, 101 doubles, and 35 triples in 793 games.

Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by Toronto in 2010, he has played in 766 Major League games at shortstop, 18G at third base and 8G at second base.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have designated LHP Ryan Bollinger for assignment.

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