An important part of that big trade with the Blue Jays for the Marlins was to get themselves a shortstop to replace Jose Reyes. But it’s not gonna be the guy who played most of the time at shortstop for the Blue Jays:
The Marlins also appear to be leaning toward playing [Adeiny] Hechavarria at shortstop and moving Escobar, a career shortstop, to third base. The infielders from Cuba are very good defensively. Hechavarria is a 23-year-old who appeared in 41 games for Toronto last year.
“There is a shortstop who could become one of the great Cuban signs of all time,” Samson said during his radio interview. “A perennial All-Star, supposedly. But he has to do it.”
Hechavarria, who will be 24 in April, played in 41 games for Toronto during his rookie season. He hit .254/.280/.365. He has hit .272/.314/.381 in 1548 minor league plate appearances. He has the glove, arm and range to be a strong major league defensive shortstop, but the plate discipline, she is poor.
With young pitching, though, you figure that the Marlins are way better off with a solid glove guy at short than Escobar who, while good, just turned 30, will likely decline in that department over time and is probably not a bad bet to make the not-uncommon move from short to third.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.