Newsday’s Tim Healey reports that the Mets have signed infielder Adeiny Hechavarria to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Hechavarria, 29, spent last year with the Rays, Pirates, and Yankees. He hit a light .247/.279/.345 in 321 plate appearances but played good defense at shortstop and third base.
With the Mets, Hechavarria will be competing for a spot on the bench as a backup infielder. While all four starting spots across the infield are spoken for, the Mets don’t have a versatile backup infielder, so it stands to reason Hechavarria has a good chance of making the Opening Day roster.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.