ST. PETERSBURG -- Adeiny Hechavarria can play Gold Glove defense. So when the Rays had the chance to acquire the shortstop from the Marlins on Monday, they traded two Minor Leaguers -- outfielder Braxton Lee and right-hander Ethan Clark -- to get him.Hechavarria will remain on the Rays' 10-day disabled
ST. PETERSBURG -- Adeiny Hechavarria can play Gold Glove defense. So when the Rays had the chance to acquire the shortstop from the Marlins on Monday, they traded two Minor Leaguers -- outfielder Braxton Lee and right-hander Ethan Clark -- to get him.
Hechavarria will remain on the Rays' 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, Diego Moreno was transferred to the 60-day DL with right shoulder bursitis.
"We view Adeiny as one of the better defensive shortstops in the game, and that's something we find really exciting," senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom said. "He's got the ability to play shortstop at a very high level, and I would imagine that's where we're going to see him most, especially in the early going."
Bloom said the Rays have been watching Hechavarria rehabbing at Class A and Double-A games, and that's he's far enough along that he will be joining the team in Pittsburgh on Tuesday with the expectation he'll be activated soon thereafter.
Matt Duffy was expected to be the Rays' shortstop this season, but he's struggled to return from left heel surgery, and last week, he had another procedure to remove a calcium deposit from the area that has continued to cause him pain.
Bloom and the Rays don't expect Duffy to miss the entire season, and they're optimistic he'll return, but getting Hechavarria felt like a solid move given the fact the Rays are in contention for the postseason at this juncture of the season.
"We certainly feel like we have as good of a chance as anybody, and we want to make sure that we're doing everything that we can within reason to keep bolstering the group," Bloom said.
Timothy Beckham has made 67 starts at shortstop for the Rays this season. He has hit well, posting a .278 average with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs. In the field, he has nine errors in 237 chances (.962 pct.).
"Tim is having an outstanding year," Bloom said after being asked how Beckham will be used going forward. "And we know from Tim's past that he has the ability to play a lot of different positions. He's a real good baseball player. He's an athlete and he's going to continue to help us win."
When Bloom was asked if he was concerned about how Beckham would take the news, he noted that Beckham has a lot of pride in what he does.
"I don't expect this is something he would have chosen, but I also know that Tim's a gamer, and he wants to win," Bloom said. "Above all, this is a guy who loves baseball and loves competing, and he's going to get a chance to continue doing that. We're confident he's going to help us win."
Hechavarria spent four full seasons as the Marlins' starting shortstop until the emergence of prospect JT Riddle made him expendable this season. The defense-first Hechavarria hasn't played since May 9 due to continuing oblique issues. But when healthy, he is one of the more dynamic defensive shortstops in baseball, twice finishing as a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award.
The 28-year-old Hechavarria is hitting .277/.288/.385 in just 20 games this season. He is a career .255/.291/.337 hitter with 15 home runs over parts of six seasons.
Lee, 23, was hitting .318 with two home runs and 12 stolen bases at Double-A Montgomery this season. Clark was 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) this season at Class A Bowling Green.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.