George King of the NY Post has the story. It’s a short piece, but one with some juicy nuggets throughout. So I’ll post it in its entirety and break in with comments:
According to sources, the Yankees remain the favorites to sign Cuban shortstop Adeinis Hechavarria.
However, they have company in chasing the 21-year-old who defected from Cuba last year.
“There are five teams that are interested,’’ a source said.
I would expect his agent to say nothing else.
The Yankees have long been the favorites to land Hechavarria for two reasons: They have the money, and they have spent more time than any team scouting him. They have seen him in open workouts in the Dominican Republic and he has been to their complex in the DR several times to work out. The most recent trip was last week.
“He has a body like (Alfonso) Soriano,” a talent evaluator said of Hechavarria. “And he can hit.’’
That doesn’t tell us much in terms of skills, but if his swing resembles Soriano’s then that would be something to get excited about. Soriano had very quick hands that generated plus power.
The Red Sox gave Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias $8 million, and it’s believed Hechavarria is looking for a similar figure.
“He is very proud to point out that he was the shortstop and Iglesias the second baseman when they played on the Cuban (junior) team,” a Dominican scout said.
That means that he was considered to be the better defensive player by his coaches. Reports are that Hechavarria is considered to have more power than Inglesias as well. Given the large bonus the Sox gave Inglesias and the reports that he could play with the big league club as early as this season, that tells me he could be close to MLB ready.
Hechavarria could be the Yankees’ second baseman. With Derek Jeter set to sign a long-term deal at the end of the season and shortstop the only place he can play, the Yankees could trade Robinson Cano after next season and make room for Hechavarria.
Next season is the final leg of Cano’s four-year, $30 million deal. There are options for 2012 ($14 million) and 2013 ($15 million).
Really? I hope this is just speculation on King’s part. Robbie Cano was an elite performer at his position both offensively and defensively last year. It could just be an early shot in the coming Cano contract negotiation, where adding Hechavarria gives the team added leverage. But Robbie’s going nowhere.
“Things are going very well,’’ Hechavarria’s agent, Bart Hernandez, said. “We should have news soon. The market has been strong. I can’t put a timetable on it, we are engaged with teams.’’
Stay tuned. . .
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