The Baltimore Orioles are still shopping for middle infield help and Adeiny Hechavarria is rumored to be a target.
Despite signing a few minor league middle infield depth pieces and adding Dilson Herrera on a minor league deal on Thursday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles are not done shopping for infield help, specifically guys who can play solid defense up the middle.
The Dilson Herrera signing could be interesting. Mainly a second baseman, Herrera can also play third base and both corner outfield spots, while bringing a bit home run power with his bat. He logged 24 home runs in Triple-A last season, before opting out of his minor league deal with the New York Mets on September 1st.
Home run numbers were through the roof in the International League last season, but Herrera does have 111 career home runs in 921 games between the minor and major leagues. He’s still only 25, despite 2020 being his 10th season as a professional baseball player, and fits a need for just a few dollars.
With Villar gone, the Orioles are left with Richie Martin, Stevie Wilkerson, Hanser Alberto, and Pat Valaika on the 40-man roster. It appears more and more likely that Martin begins the year in the minor leagues, Alberto fits better as a second baseman, and neither Wilkerson or Valaika bring anything to the plate. There’s still a big need here.
"I’m expecting the Orioles to meet with Adeiny Hechavarría’s agents at the Winter Meetings. There’s definite interest, and he’d make sense given the team’s needs."
Whenever I see his name mentioned, I always think of this play from the 2018 playoffs.
Since the start of the 2017, Hechavarria has played for the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, New York Mets, and the Atlanta Braves.
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He played in 84 games last season with the Mets and Braves, slashing .241/.299/.443 with nine home runs, 12 doubles, and a wRC+ of 93. He struggled with the Mets, but had a nice run with the Braves, hitting .328 with a .400 OBP, 162 wRC+, and four home runs in 24 games.
Hechavarria should be available for a very affordable price and brings the quality of glove that the Orioles need around the infield to help out this young and inexperienced pitching staff that has now seen Dylan Bundy traded to the Los Angeles Angels.
In nearly 7,000 career innings at shortstop, Hechavarria has compiled 20 Defensive Runs Saved and an 11.9 Ultimate Zone Rating. If the Orioles are in on him, it’s for the glove. Anything he provides on offense is sort of extra when the organization is looking at another 100+ losses in 2020.
If Yolmer Sanchez is going to cost too much and Jose Iglesias is too much of a clubhouse nuisance, per Kubatko, Hechavarria and Charlie Culberson appear to be the best options available, with Hechavarria better fitting what the Orioles are looking for.
Teams are making their way to San Diego now for the Winter Meetings. How active do you expect Mike Elias and the Baltimore Orioles to be? Stay tuned to find out!