Report: Rays front-runners for Marlins’ Hechavarria

After five years in Miami, Adeiny Hechavarria could soon be heading upstate to Tampa.

Bandied about in trade rumors since late last week, Hechavarria, the Marlins‘ defensively gifted shortstop, is expected to be dealt shortly, and though Miami remains in discussions with multiple teams, the Rays are thought to be the favorites to land the 28-year-old, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

In exchange for Hechavarria, who has been out since May 10 with an oblique strain, the Marlins are hoping to land one or two pitching prospects, and the club wants to finalize a deal before opening a three-game set against the New York Mets on Tuesday.

As of Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals were reportedly still in play for Hechavarria, as well, though the Baltimore Orioles gave up their pursuit after initially showing interest in the Cuba native who remains under team control through 2018.

One game back of the second wild-card spot, the Rays – 40-38 after dropping two straight to Baltimore – have watched Tim Beckham thrive as their everyday shortstop in 2017, putting up 1.6 WAR with a .764 OPS and 10 homers in 68 games. The club has received little production from second base, however, where Brad Miller, Daniel Robertson, Michael Martinez, and Taylor Featherston have combined to hit .206/.317/.331. Should the Rays acquire Hechavarria, Beckham could take over at second base, where he has started 38 games over parts of four seasons in the majors.

Hechavarria – who’s making $4.35 million this year – is hitting .277/.288/.385 (79 OPS+) with one home run in 20 games in 2017. Over parts of six seasons in the majors, he owns a .629 OPS with 10 defensive runs saves in 640 games.

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