Hechavarria could land a deal like Crawford's
Giants SS agrees to 6-year, $75M contract; Marlins SS entering first year of arbitration
MIAMI -- Operating with a tight payroll budget, the Marlins aren't expected to make many major moves in free agency. But signing some of their own players to contract extensions is certainly a possibility.
When it comes to Adeiny Hechavarria, contract terms for a top-flight shortstop gained some more clarity now that All-Star Brandon Crawford of the Giants has agreed to a six-year, $75 million deal.
Not to say Hechavarria is worthy of the same figures, but Crawford's pact helps set the shortstop market.
Since last offseason, the Marlins made it clear they were interested in signing several of their core players to multiyear deals. Last November, their top priority was locking up Giancarlo Stanton, who eventually signed the richest contract in North American professional sports -- $325 million over 13 years.
And close to the end of Spring Training, Christian Yelich, coming off a Rawlings Gold Glove Award-winning season, signed for seven years at $49.57 million. The Marlins also approached Hechavarria, outfielder Marcell Ozuna and right-hander Jose Fernandez about possible extensions, but talks didn't progress.
Miami is open to trading Ozuna, who won't be arbitration-eligible until 2017. Fernandez, eligible for arbitration for the first time, became the subject of a trade rumor Tuesday.
Whether that gains any traction remains unclear, and a deal involving Fernandez might be unlikely since the Marlins' rotation is thin. Trading their ace, who is not a free agent until 2019, would only be considered for a huge haul in return. And it would send a signal the team again will be rebuilding.
Miami will be operating under a payroll of around $80 million, which makes it more unclear if signing Hechavarria to an extension at this point is a priority.
Hechavarria, meanwhile, won't be a free agent until 2019. The 26-year-old made $1.925 million in 2015, and he will likely get a modest raise for 2016 in his first year of arbitration.
It has been reported Hechavarria has been seeking terms similar to the eight-year, $120 million contract shortstop Elvis Andrus signed a few years ago with the Rangers.
Crawford's six-year, $75 million deal gives a more realistic comparison on the market for Hechavarria. So does Andrelton Simmons' seven-year, $58 million contract, signed with the Braves in February 2014. Simmons recently was traded to the Angels.
Hechavarria's skill set matches up more favorably to Simmons than Crawford, a more productive hitter.
Crawford has already been part of two World Series title teams in his career. And he was an All-Star, Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner and a Louisville Silver Slugger Award winner this season. Hechavarria, a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist for two straight seasons, has yet to win a Gold Glove or be named an All-Star.
Still, Hechavarria has been a significant part of what the Marlins are building. It's now a matter of if he will agree to sign a long-term deal or go through the arbitration process.