Lost in the Andrew McCutchen trade news was the Yankees trading with the Pirates for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on August 31st for some cash or a player to be named later. No, I have never heard of Hechavarria either, but due to the injury to Didi Gregorius, Hechavarria is a Yankee.
The Yankees weren’t/aren’t expecting much offense from Hechavarria (of course they will take it though), and he hasn’t shown much pop (2 for 6) in his first four games in pinstripes besides a home run which John Sterling wasn’t prepared for, indicating no one was expecting it to happen. But defensively, Hechavarria has been solid. That’s precisely why the Yankees got him, and for cheap (both the Pirates and Rays are paying portions of his contract.)
Hechavarria is not going to replace Gregorius as a starter once Gregorius returns from the disabled list. Though it is funny that before coming to the Yankees they were both relatively unknown shortstops who were limited offensively and superb defensively. Just look at Gregorius now, he is one of the best middle infielders in the game. It shows how great the Yankees’ scouting department was at seeing the potential in Gregorius. Oh, and the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium helps. Could Hechavarria turn into the same player? Most likely not. At 29-years-old, Hechavarria is what he is at this point, and not to mention older than Gregorius. But like mentioned before, Hechavarria isn’t a Yankee to replace Gregorius. He’s a Yankee to give them some defensive help, especially late in tight games.
Barring signing Manny Machado this offseason, it’s a safe bet to assume Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres are the third and second basemen of the future. But as amazing as the two men have been all season offensively, defensively they are limited and at times a liability at the end of close games. This is where Hechavarria comes in. He gives the Yankees some serious infield defensive help. Andujar has the third most errors at third (15). Same with Torres (11) at second. Of course, you could blame this on youth, but still, it’s a problem. Either way, it’s nice to have Hechavarria who has only given up three errors all season.
Let’s see what happens with the depth chart once Gregorius comes back. We do have to remember that Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade and Neil Walker are on the active roster as well. But as of right now Hechavarria is a nice small tweak by Brian Cashman. A tweak no one saw coming.