Since teams can no longer trade past the July 31st deadline, there are limited opportunities to make tweaks between now and the inevitable playoff stretch. The only way additions can occur is if a player is placed on release waivers. At that time, the worst team in the respective league (American/National) has the opportunity to claim (said player) first – followed by the best teams in ascending order. If nobody from the – let’s say National League – picks him up, then the same process repeats itself in the American League.
Most of the time, scraps are left for the teams at the top of the standings. Anything with future value is scooped up by clubs in rebuild mode that have the first opportunity at a claim. However, there is a chance the Braves could find unique value in a player that was recently released by the New York Mets.
Adeiny Hechavarria is a long-time NL East foe. He spent five seasons with the Marlins before bouncing around the MLB, including stints with the Yankees and finally the Mets this year. He’s never been much with the bat, as displayed by his .204 average in 60 games with New York this season, but he’s always been a natural shortstop that fields his position very well. Hechavarria is also a .252 career hitter, so there is hope he could be serviceable with the stick in a short sample size with the Braves.
It pains me to says this because I have repeatedly had Johan Camargo’s back this season despite his faults, but it is now impossible to ignore how poor he has been in an extended role since Dansby Swanson has been out. Not only has his bat been ice cold, but his glove – which has always been a strong suit for him – has been unusually inconsistent. He’s giving up more runs in the field than he’s producing at the plate. Camargo can no longer be trusted to start, and Culberson is much better-suited in a bench role.
Hechavarria isn’t the perfect solution, but with three position players on the IL and Rafael Ortega currently occupying a roster spot, he could help this team win ball games until Swanson returns. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos also has ties with Hechavarria from his days back in Toronto, where the shortstop was groomed as a prospect. Combine the connection with the need, and Hechavarria makes more sense than I initially thought.