According to New York Post writer George A. King III, Adeiny Hechavarria has decided to sign with the Blue Jays “because he didn’t envision himself playing short for the Yankees”. Well, who can blame him when Derek Jeter is standing in his way. Apparently, the Jays and Yankees were offering similar amounts to get the 21 yr old on board, but the opportunity to play with the Jays ASAP made them the top contender. If this is true and it becomes official, despite the refusal of AA to admit it is so, what does it mean for the Jays overall? Here’s a run down of what I could come up with:
- Normally I would say that Adeiny will begin the season in AA, but with the experience Adeiny has in the Cuban league, it is entirely viable to see him begin the season in AAA if the Jays feel he’s up to it. If he does begin the year in AA, what does that mean for Justin Jackson and Tyler Pastronicky? They can’t really share time in HiA now, can they? I do know that Brad Emaus will head to AAA, which means that the Jays could move Tyler or Justin to 2B, and that would make a ton of sense if you feel that Adeiny will be the SS of the future. Jackson’s bat and Pastronicky’s speed both play up at 2B and since Aaron Hill is still around for a while yet, Pastronicky may wind up heading to the OF which is not necessarily a bad thing.
- All of the RP currently on the block will become more effective trade pieces because AA will no longer be as focused on the SS position. Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, and even Brian Tallet could all be traded with a focus on the value of the return, not the position. This makes AA’s job a lot easier to do and I still expect him to reel in a Ben Revere type prospect if he can pry one away from another team.
- If he is in fact better than fellow Cuban SS Jose Iglesias (Boston), and Derek Jeter‘s game comes down some as he ages (inevitable, isn’t it?), and the Rays have Jason Bartlett while the Orioles have an unclear picture at SS, does it mean the Jays could have the best SS in the AL East within 2-3 years? Yes, it does, and they won’t be paying him a 10th of Jeter’s salary (I’m going to post something about the horror show that will be the Yankees in 2-3 years).
- Picture it, 2011 Jays with an infield of Brett Wallace (1B), Aaron Hill (2B), Adeiny Hechevarria (SS), and ________. Who’s your favorite 3B candidate? Aramis Ramirez will be a FA in the off season…..hmmm. If Wallace is adequate at 3B and Brian Dopirak explodes as a 1B, the Jays could potentially be set and spend their money elsewhere…..but where? JP Arencibia has looked great this spring and should be ready to take over at catcher, so the only real holes would be an ace and a RF. Can you say Jayson Werth? He was already with the Jays once before and is the exact type of player needed in the roster. Of course, if the Jays do trade for a Ben Revere type, that would answer this question and the lead off question.
- Could Adeiny make it to the Jays in 2010? Why not? According to those who’ve seen Jose Iglesias play, he’s ready for the majors now, so why wouldn’t Adeiny be ready? The Cuban team had even moved Iglesias to 2B in tournament play in favor of using Adeiny at SS. If Adeiny is strong enough in AA and AAA, he could get a shot to make his debut once Alex Gonzalez has a new home. How nice will it be for him to get a few pointers from John McDonald at SS?
- The cost, approximated to be around $10 million, is very tolerable considering the fact that the Jays salary obligations in 2010 are well below the usual level. Hopefully the deal is long enough to keep Adeiny in Toronto when he reaches his peak (5-6 years).
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, AA can now go into the draft in 2010 without a massive focus on the SS position. If he does find a SS is the best player on the board, the Jays can probably move that player to 3B as the White Sox did with Gordon Beckham. Either way, reporters won’t be pressing Alex as to which SS he’s going to take with the 11th pick overall and he can just assess the players with his team and take the best talent.
If and when this happens, I will be one of the happiest Jays fans you could ever see on Monday morning. My team will have lost the best pitcher in their history, but for the first time since the early 90s it will also have the potential to be the best offensive team in the AL East within 3-4years, and that my friends is a monumental feat when you’re in a division with the Red Sox and Yankees.
Of course, if it doesn’t end up happening I’ll be the one with one droopy face and a chip on his shoulder, especially if he winds up singing with an AL East team. I’ll have typed this up for nothing and all of you can point and laugh at me. Such is the risk of a “pre-official” deal post, but I like be the first to post about it a lot more and don’t mind doing the work!