The Mets have signed Adeiny Hechavarria to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training. Given that the roster lacks a natural backup for Amed Rosario at the shortstop position, this is a depth signing that makes sense for the team and there is a chance he could make the big league roster. The only other player with significant experience at shortstop among players likely to make the 25-man roster is Jed Lowrie, but there is some doubt he can hack it at the position at this stage in his career. The deal with Hechavarria is pending a physical, which he will take tomorrow at Port St. Lucie.
After coming up in the Blue Jays system, the 29-year-old Hechavarria has spent most of his major league career with the Marlins, establishing himself as a glove-first shortstop. He has also logged a limited amount of innings at second base and third base. Most recently, Hechavarria was across town playing in pinstripes, after being acquired by the Yankees before last season’s September 1 deadline. Last season, he posted a 67 wRC+ and 0.4 fWAR in 94 games.
While his ability to play shortstop is certainly an advantage, Hechavarria finds himself battling for a job in a crowded infield that already includes Rosario and Lowrie, as well as Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil, and Todd Frazier. J.D. Davis, T.J. Rivera, and Luis Guillorme are all fighting to earn a spot on the Opening Day bench as well. Nevertheless, Brodie Van Wagenen continues to send the message that position player depth is a priority for the Mets this offseason.