Mar
06

Yanks “heavily interested” in Adeiny Hechevarria

By

Via MLBTR, the Yankees are heavily interested in Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria, who is now free to sign with any team after being unblocked by the OFAC. Joe told us everything we need to know about the 19-year-old last month, and it’s likely that he’ll receive a larger bonus than the $8.2M the Red Sox gave the all-glove/no-hit Jose Iglesias this offseason. Obviously, the Yankees need to start thinking about a shortstop of the future, but that’s a lot of scratch for a teenager, especially when you consider the track record of Cuban imports.

Categories : Asides
  • The Evil Empire

    It’s a lot of money, but it’s nothing compared to a free agent signing. Do it NOW!

  • Section 39

    We are never in a position in the draft to get a decent SS prospect so we need to do it through the international arena before they crack down on that too. This is a must signing for the Yanks and I think Cash and the others know it. They will get it done.

    • billbybob

      This is a must eh?

      • Section 39

        This would definitely qualify as a must for our farm. We don’t have a decent SS prospect and barring getting a top 10 draft pick anytime soon (not happening), we can’t draft one either. Pitchers and OF we can draft since they are commonly available late in the first round where the Yanks normally draft. Quality position players are rarely found that late unless you just get lucky or scout exceptionally well. There are rules being discussed to limit the International FA into the draft system so we need to get this done before that happens too. This guy is a defensive machine and his hitting isn’t that bad either. He is definitely a must for the Yanks.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Hechevarria’s range is sick. The Yankees can move Arod to Left Center field, because Hechevarria can cover the entire left side of the infield by himself. Fact(ish).

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      well crap if that’s true would could have kept damon to cover what was left of the LF…

  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

    Finally! A prospect to trade for Hanley in 4 years!

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      IETC.

  • countryclub

    Thinking a bit out of the box here, but i believe Cano’s deal expires after 2013. So this singing could offer insurance if the Yanks dont want to pony up the mega deal that Robbie might be looking for.

    If his bat really is legit, he might be able to fill in at 2nd just as easily as he could at SS.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      If his defense is really legit, you keep him at SS. It’ll be easier to fill the 2B hole if you let Robbie go.

      • countryclub

        I’m sure the signing would be with SS in mind. But if Jeter is still playing short in a few yrs (something I think is a 50/50 chance), then at least there’s another way to get him on the field.

        Obviously I’m looking too far ahead. They have to sign him 1st and then he has to pan out.

    • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

      So does Chase Utley’s I think. Who will be 35. Cano will be 32 or something.

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        Cano’s gonna be 32 in 2013?

        • Angelo

          I believe he will be 30….

    • Zack

      Yeah, disagree. It has more to do with the 36 year old SS and not the 26 year old 2B.

      • countryclub

        I agree that the signing would be made with short in mind, but 2nd would be an option if Jeter is still playing at a passable level.

        Assuming they give Jeter 4 or more years this offseason, they’ll have huge money tied up in arod, jeter & tex. They may not want to pay a soon to be 31 yr old 2nd baseman what his past performance demands.

        • Hughesus Christo

          When is the last time the Yankees let one of their own (good) players walk before he was 35+ and/or coming off a major injury?

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona

            Andy Pettitte?

            • bexarama

              I was gonna say this, but then I remembered they thought he was an injury risk, and he did indeed need elbow surgery in 2004 (IIRC it was because he really hurt his elbow while batting on a check swing, and if he’d been with the Yankees, that probably wouldn’t have happened. Sigh. :( )

  • Reggie C.

    If Hechevarria’s range at SS decreases with the weight he’ll undoubtedly add, he may be Arod’s 3B replacement down the line.

  • Yazman

    Joe’s 2/13 blog post showed a “web gem” video of Hechevarria making an amazing stab to his left. Then he took 7 strides before failing to throw the guy out. Hope that’s not the best web gem on this guy!

    If he is the goods though, this could give the organization critical infield options.

    • Manimal

      In his defense, he stumbled because he over extended and lost his balance a little bit. That is still twice the range of any shortstop we’ve had in 20 years haha

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        And it was one play, the smallest of small sample sizes.

  • Bob Stone

    Sign him – Go For it. It’s a lot cheaper than signing a free agent.

  • YankeesJunkie

    He sounds like a good prospect for being 19. Considering the Yankees don’t have any top end talent for the infield it would defitenly be a good add. Minor league development is an area where the Yankees should could continue to dominate and get top end talent to replinish the farm system to replace players or trade for players.

  • Zack

    You know who else you could have had for 8.2m? Johnny Damon

    /bo’d

    • Mike Pop

      This guy is probably another lazy Cuban like Cano who can’t hit with RISP.

      /Jake’d

  • YankeesJunkie

    How much are people projecting this guy to go for? I mean for him to get a 10 million dollar deal what has he specifically done.

  • Rose

    especially when you consider the track record of Cuban imports.

    Segway to…

    Open Thread: Forgettable
    By Mike Axisa in Open Thread./

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      and by segway, you mean self-powered scooter not smooth transition right? :)

  • Jeffrey Billington

    go for it!!! no major risk just a drop in the hat for the yankees something that does not come around for them often

  • MikeD

    The Yankees should use their financial strength to sign top-end international talent since they don’t have access to this level of player in the regular draft. Chapman signed for twice the dollars that Strasburg did even though he’s not as developed because he was an international free agent. I was surprised the Yankees did go after Chapman, but perhaps they decided to focus what money they have for a big international signing to Hechevarria.

    Ideally, I’d like to see the Yankees sign both, but the Hal Steinbrenner Yankees seem to operate more with a long-rante plan and within a budget than the George version.

  • anon

    Hechavarria is 21, not 19.

    .245 career hitter in Cuba with 2 HR per year — worse, by far, than Yuni Betancourt, Yunel Escobar, Alexei Ramirez, and even Boston’s Jose Iglesias.

    Pass. Huge pass.

    • Section 39

      The kid is 20. None of those players were even at his level at age 20. He’s a defensive stud and he hits to all fields. He’s a prospect — not a ML signing. Relax on the stats from age 18-20.

      • anon

        Um, EVERY player I listed was better than Hechavarria at age 20 in Cuba. Iglesias hit .320 as an 18-year-old while Hechavarria was hitting .240 as a 20-year-old. (And per Baseball Prospectus, the AVERAGE hitter in Cuba hit .301 last year.)

        If by “hits to all fields” you mean Hechavarria gets overpowered by average fastballs and hits to the right side, then yes, he hits to all fields.

        $500,000? Sign him. $8 million? Pass, pass, pass.

        • Section 39

          I don’t know where you are looking at your stats from or whether you are just making them up. Please, please show me a source for the stats of Betancourt, Escobar, and Ramirez at 20 years old. They weren’t signed on a ML club until they were 22+. Good luck finding that comparison.

          Furthermore, comparing a single stat is a completely worthless way to evaluate talent of a prospect. His true value is in his defense which you don’t even mention. He has more range than Iglesias and the others you selected. He has a better fielding % than Iglesias as well.

          All that said, what exactly is the harm of signing him? He won’t even take up a roster spot. You can’t sign anyone for a $500,000 roster bonus and especially not someone with as high projections as Hechavarria. Keeping standing on that limb all by yourself, the rest of us anxiously await the signing.

          • anon

            Section 39 — I never said all of those players signed with MLB teams by age 20. What part of “in Cuba” did you not understand? Like a lot of people on the internet, you seem to have a reading comprehension problem.

            When players don’t hit home runs and don’t steal bases, batting average is a fairly good “single stat” to use for comparison purposes. Iglesias was a .320 hitter in Cuba at age 18; Hechavarria was a .250 hitter at age 20 (in a league where, per BP.com, the average hitter hit .301 last year).

            Hechavarria’s career fielding % is, in fact, higher than Iglesias’s, but only by .008. If you want to trade 100 points of OPS for .008 of defense, good luck to you.

            Furthermore, Jose Iglesias signed a major league contract with Boston. If the premise is that Hechavarria will sign a similar deal, then that means he *will* “take up a roster spot,” as you wrongly surmised above.

            Like I said: $500,000? Sign him. $8 million? Run for the hills.

            • Section 39

              Apparently you have a reading comprehension issue as well. I was only referencing the fact they had not playing in MLB or in the minors until 22+ becuase the there are limited souces of Cuban stats. Hence why I asked, and you still haven’t answered, “Please, please show me a source for the stats of Betancourt, Escobar, and Ramirez at 20 years old.” Got any answer? I’d love to see that “source”.

              You rest your entire argument on stats which is hilarious. Try reading what the scouts have to say about him since they ACTUALLY WATCH HIM PLAY. He is known to have much more range than Iglesias. Sure, .008 may not be much, but there is more to evaluating fielding ability than fielding %.

              He is also regarded by the scouts to have better power than Iglesias. Again, you will rest on the limited stats you can find, I will rest with the scouts who again, ACTUALLY WATCH HIM PLAY.

              Iglesias takes up a 40-man spot, but is not on the active ML roster so doesn’t take up a 25-man spot. That is really all that matters. He projects better than any infield prospect in the system. How do you not give him a 40-man spot over Nunez or Corona? Really?

              He will get his 8 million and the rest of the Yankee following world, other than you of course, will be ecstatic since this will be one of the better international FA signings for the Yanks.

              STILL WAITING FOR YOUR SOURCE ON CUBAN STATS FOR BETANCOURT, RAMIREZ + ESCOBAR AT AGE 18. WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU TRY AND COME UP WITH THAT ONE!!!

              • Sam

                Can’t you just look them up yourself?

  • anon

    Section 39 — Your comments are laughable, as is your apparent belief that Cuban stats are unavailable.

    Your reliance on a few unsourced comments from anonymous scouts makes little sense. Would you buy a house or a car from some guy on the internet who won’t give you his name, but swears he’s offering you a great deal?

    If you care to do about 5 minutes of research, you’ll find that Hechavarria’s career offensive numbers in Cuba were not only worse but FAR WORSE than any of the other Cuban SS defectors of late, from Yuniesky Betancourt, Yunel Escobar, and Alexei Ramirez to Yohannis Perez and Jose Iglesias. (Except for Alexei Ramirez, all of these players left Cuba between the ages of 18 and 22.)

    If you want to believe a 21-year-old player – a player who played many hundreds of games in the pro-level Cuban league – will improve from the major league-equivalent of a .220 hitter to an above-average major league shortstop, good luck to you. When is the last time a Cuban hitter – any Cuban hitter – did better in MLB than he did in Cuba?

    • Section 39

      Again… no source for your info. What else is new. What I find laughable is you honestly think anyone believes your assertions that any of those players, Betancourt/Escobar/Ramirez were better at his age. You have absolutely no source of your so called stats (or shall I just call them as they are — “opinions”). If you had a source, you would have posted it by now. The truth is, YOU ARE MAKING STUFF UP!

      Ages into Minor Leagues:
      Betancourt — signed with the Mariners in 2005 — AGE 23
      Escobar — signed with the Braves in 2005 — AGE 22
      Ramirez — signed with the White Sox in 2008 – AGE 26

      Other than Iglesias, everyone else was 22+ coming to the US. Where are you getting your stats on them from when they were 18-20????? Stop making stuff up — you just sound ridiculous. Without a source, you are far from credible. If you are going ton contradict what the ML scouts are saying, at least try and back it up with stats FROM AN ACTUAL SOURCE and not just what you think the stats would be.

      Done with this boring point. You are like arguing with a toddler.

      • anon

        Section 39 — Do you know Cuba has these things called “Web sites” or do you believe the U.S. has a monopoly on them?

        All of the stats you keep claiming are unavailable are, in fact, EASILY available both on Cuban Web sites and U.S.-based sites like Baseball Reference.

        • Section 39

          Good try on the Baseball Reference, but they don’t have CUBAN STATS. Try actually giving a link to a website, BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE A SOURCE!!! You’re boring.

          • anon

            Section 39 — Your laziness is quite astonishing. Do you really, truly believe that Cuba’s baseball stats are one of the world’s best-kept secrets?

            If you don’t believe what I’ve written above, go read some of the reports on Iglesias and Hechavarria at ESPN.com. (Of course, I expect your next allegation will be that ESPN made up the stats, but we’ll see.)

            • Section 39

              The truth is, you have absolutely no source for your ridiculous assertions that Ramirez, Escobar, and Betancourt were all better than Hechavarria at age 20. That is the discussion here, not what Hechavarria’s stats are. Those are easily found since he is being actively scouted by just about every team. Your moronic comments about how Ramirez, Escobar, and Betancourt were all better at age 20 when you don’t have any of their stats from when they were 20, is HILARIOUS! Then you go and try to hide under generic comments like “there are websites”. Furthermore, you then try and attack my comments before actually defending your own. Typical when someone who cannot justify their own comments with actual statistics instead of just rhetoric that you listen to from your friends or on the radio. Just a hint, when your opinion differs from just about every MLB scout, you may want to rethink yourself or go find an actual source (preferably a credible one) to back up your point. There are NO ARTICLES on Ramirez/Escobar/Betancourt when they were 20 years old on ESPN — so try again with your source. THIS IS COMICAL!!!

              • anon

                Section 39 — No, the only truths here are that you are incredibly lazy and ill-informed. Calling Hechavarria a “must sign” for the Yankees at an estimated $8 million to $10 million cost is proof of such.

                I find it very interesting that you’re now saying the stats for Hechavarria “are easily found” after you posted about 12 comments claiming such stats are top-secret and unavailable to people outside Cuba. Seriously, which is it? Pick one side and stick to it.

                I just spent 2 minutes at Google and found stories about Yunel Escobar that dated back to 2000, when he was 18. Yet here you are, continuing to insist that info. is unavailable. I guess you’re just another message-board legend.

                • Section 39

                  Hey what do ya know… still no sources posted… Why am I not surprised?

                  And if you actually read the posts, I was commenting that the stats of Ramirez/Escobar/Betancourt was essentially impossible to obtain from when they were 18-20 which is still true. You continue to say I’m wrong, yet NEVER POST ANY LINK TO THEIR STATS. I wonder why that is?

                  You are seriously like arguing with a toddler. You say things with absolutely nothing to back them up with. You make general statements so you can avoid having to substantiate anything and when directly challenged to find something, LIKE AN ACTUAL SOURCE – A LINK – YOU KNOW LIKE http://… — YOU ARE DRY AS A BONE.

                  Quite frankly, you are boring to argue with because of your lack of logical thought processes. I’m bored of coming back to this post — 3 pages in — anxiously waiting for the source YOU DON’T HAVE.

                  In summary… YOU ARE BORING, YOU ARE LIKE ARGUING WITH A TODDLER, CAN’T MAINTAIN A LOGICAL ARGUMENT, AND… STILL HAVEN’T POSTED AN ACTUAL LINK TO THEIR STATS AT AGE 20.

                  THANKS FOR TROLLING ON THIS THREAD FOR SO LONG!

                • anon

                  Section 39 — Why do you keep demanding “facts” when the entire basis of your valuation of Hechavarria as an $8 to $10 million player are a couple of anonymous quotes on MLB Trade Rumors or some other site like that? It seems like the burden of proof is on you, not me.

                • Section 39

                  Hey look… what do you know… still dodging the issue of providing a site where you obtained your stats on Escobar/Ramirez/Betancourt at age 20.

                  I’m shocked…

  • anon

    Section 39 — I haven’t dodged anything. Those stats are on about 10 different Cuban Web sites. Seriously, is Google a foreign concept to you?