The Yanks added infield insurance just before the 11:59 p.m. Eastern deadline for postseason eligibility, acquiring defensive stud Adeiny Hechavarría from the Pittsburgh Pirates (with cash considerations) in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Just about all of Hechavarría’s value comes from his glove, as he owns a meager .254/.287/.342 (69 wRC+) batting line across 76 games with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh in 2018. The Pirates acquired him August 6 for a minor-league pitcher after Tampa Bay designated him for assignment August 1.
In 625⅓ innings at shortstop in 2018, Hechavarría has totaled +3 defensive runs saved and owns a +1.5 UZR. He has just three fielding errors this season, and five total at shortstop over the past two years. He also has 70⅔ innings of experience at second base, and 156 innings at third base. However, he has played exclusively shortstop since moving from Toronto to Miami in their mega-deal in November 2012.
In my opinion, this deal is simply a way to improve infield defense now that rosters have expanded to 40 players. Hechavarría is definitely not the kind of move you make to cover up a setback to Didi Gregorius‘ heel bruise, but it’s a move that allows for plenty of quality infield depth. It also seems to indicate that Gio Urshela will remain with the RailRiders through their playoff push. It’s worth noting that Hechavarría has a .299/.319/.418 (99 wRC+) line in his career at Yankee Stadium, though that just seems to be one of those crazy baseball quirks.
The Yankees will now have a surplus of utility infielders, as Hechavarría will join Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade and Neil Walker as options off the bench.
It seems the Yanks are trying to push Ryan Bollinger off the 40-man roster for a second time, having outrighted him May 27 after a one day appearance on the active roster. He was added again July 31, though he was optioned to the minors the next day. I believe he can elect free agency in lieu of another outright assignment, though the Yankees will try to sneak him through waivers after designating him for assignment.