The last time I checked, JP Ricciardi is no longer running the Blue Jays, so it seems a little odd– if not a bit nostalgic– that a new tidbit of information about the club could be coming out of Boston. But that could be what we’ve got, by way of Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. He writes:

“What needs to happen – maybe not immediately, but perhaps by next season – is that Escobar must move to second base to make room for Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Escobar loves being a shortstop, so there is a bit of trepidation among some in the organization as to how he will accept this. Escobar is a very good shortstop who could start for many teams, but the Jays have their version of Jose Iglesias; they think Hechavarria is going to be pretty special.”

OK, so maybe anybody could have told you that it’s probably going to be a bit weird to ask an in-his-prime shortstop like Escobar to move over for Hechavarria, once he’s ready to make the jump to the Majors– and, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, there are still big questions about whether his bat will play at the MLB level– but it’s interesting to hear that the Jays themselves, at least some of them, think this might be a problem. It’s not quite akin to working up the nerve to ask Vernon Wells to move out of centre field, which the club never seemed prepared to do, but it’s close.

Perhaps more interesting is that the club thinks Hechavarria is going to force the issue.

Comments (53)

  1. It’s one hell of a nice problem to have! I really like Escobar for both his story and as a player. It’s probably unlikely that Hech is asked to play 2B if he comes up permenantly, but he has been doing reps there in case KJ is injured. It could, at the very least, postpone the problem for a year.

    • How about this: Yunel stays at short, Hech plays 3rd and Lawrie moves back to his native position of 2nd?

      • Why not just move Lawrie to short, Hech to first, Yunel to right, Bautista to third, Snider to 2nd, KJ to left field, and Encarnacion to centre? (Rasmus to DH.)

      • Not sure if the sarcasm is just sailing over my head or not, but in case it isn’t:

        Hech’s bat will never play at third, and Lawrie’s glove was moved out of the middle infield for good reason.

        IMO, if you can’t get Escobar to change positions and Hech is looking like a bona fide big leaguer on both sides of the ball, you need to see about trading one of them. Both players lose a non-trivial amount of value by playing a position other than shortstop.

      • Is this a fucking joke?

  2. “Escobar is a very good shortstop who could start for many teams,”…

    Try “most teams”. Including the Globe’s own Red Sox, what with trading Scutaro and Iglesias going down injured.

  3. As great a defensive wizard as Hech is supposed to be, I still don’t understand why we are more excited about a guy who fields .99999999 and bats 200 as opposed to a more balanced player who could field say 975 and NOT be a complete shitbag sinkhole in the 9 spot of the lineup.

    • Because Hech is young enough where he still has time to develop his bat? By all accounts he’s apparently improving as well. Another year in the minors where he can focus on his approach at the plate could help as well.

      • My personal belief is that hitting is kind of like goal scoring. If you can’t do it in the minors, noway in hell you can do it in the majors.

    • Fielding percentage? Come on.

    • Did you seriously just mention feilding percentage? Seriously?

  4. Pffft …. whatevs

    Given his contract Escobars trade value is through the roof

    • I don’t think they’d be interested in trading him. He’s expected to be a key part of playoff runs in the future. Ha.

  5. There are just so many ways this could play out that I don’t really see a reason to be at all concerned.

    - Hech may never hit and will only be a big league defensive replacement type player
    - Escobar could be fine with the move
    - Hech migth take 2-3 more years at which point Escobar will be 31,32 and it will make perfect sense to move him.
    - someone might get traded
    - Lawrie might move to Left field (with Snider to Right and Bautista to 1st) which would open up 3rd base for Escobar as well (if he actually prefers that)
    - the mayan calendar might be right and we’ll all be dead.

    • Sorry did I miss something? Lawrie moving to the outfield? Don’t we have a stuffed outfield already?

      • When he first came up scouts (Goldstein for example) where saying he was destined for the corner outfield. I’m not saying it will happen now but it’s yet another possibility and a reason not to worry about this Yunel Hech thing

    • My money’s on the Mayan calendar thing…

  6. this makes no sense. the rook plays where u play him. u dont move ur veteran, all-star-worthy shortstop to second to accommodate a nobody. dumb.

    • Related News: Derek Jeter getting second hip replacement.

    • Disagree and agree at the same time, lol, talk about fence sitting…

      I see your point, but you do what you gotta do to make the team better. And the point where I agree with you, it might make the team worse down the line. All I’m saying is consider all the variables, don’t make decisions based on concrete rules of what should and shouldn’t be.

      • agreed. the jeter situation is different, but i understand thats why hech did not want to go to the yankees. but look now, escobar has way more years left on him than jeter so maybe hechy made the wrong choice..

        what im saying is, u start with escobar at short and hech at 2nd and u see how they play. if hech is clearly the better defensive player and he shows good arm strength then u switch em up and hope yunel takes it like a man.

      • You’re right, and if Escobar is a team player, he’d move for the sake of the betterment of the team.

        • right on.
          if he takes it like a bitch then bautista needs to step up and keep him in line. tell him ‘look, i played third when i didnt want to and im joey fucken bats! besides, didnt u hear how much ass second basemen get in this town?

  7. Great problem to have but it would really suck if we had to get rid of Escobar because of a problem like this. I think it’s a wait and show me thing with Hech as we already have one of the best in the AL, so there’s probably no rush to move him over. If Escobar won’t move over even after Hech has proven himself, then he’s just being selfish and probably better off not being on this team going forward.

  8. I thought it became obvious that the Blue Jays were planning for the possibility of keeping Yunel at SS when they started trying Hech out at 2B. .. that line about giving Hech reps at 2B in case of a long term injury to Johnson seemed like bunk to me.

    • We’re assuming Kelly doesnt get traded and stays with the team past the minimum number of days required by the 1 year contract he signed. Kelly was sounding fairly lukewarm about the idea of playing other positions as suggested last fall by Jays management.

  9. These articles are stupid…

    Until Hech starts hitting… Its a moot point…

    He hit well in 100 at bats in Las Vegas last year… So people forget that for the other 600 at bats, he hit like a pitcher…

    Escobar is a top 5 shortstop… Why are we concerned about moving him over for a guy who might have the same ceiling as jonny mac?

    • Could you perhaps read the damn post before getting all pissy? I pretty much said exactly that.

      • I don’t think he mean the post was stupid BUT the article by Cafardo was.
        Can’t see anything wrong with the post by you,
        But the speculation by a Boston Globe reporter on the inner thoughts of the Jays about upsetting Escobar, is stupid.

      • Stoeten, I wasn’t getting pissy.. I did read the post…

        I enjoy your content.. Dont take everything so personal..

        Im just stating the absurtity of the Hech mania by some writers/blogs/forum junkies/jays talk callers…

  10. Seems like the ‘buzz’ around Hechavaria has really grown this spring. Exciting.

  11. Would Escobar be too slow if he moved to 3rd instead of 2nd.. dude has a cannon attached to his right shoulder… why not just adjust Lawrie to 2nd. Actually from what I saw of Lawrie’s play at third he’s got a decent arm also. Or hell dont bring Hech to the majors, but trade him for an good second baseman if KJ is gone next year.

  12. I’m about to write something ridiculous based on what I heard on the radio during a spring training game.

    Escobar dogging it won’t be something that the team puts up with for too long, especially if they deem Hechaahavaavaria ready to jump up. A shortstop in his prime with a killer contract is very valuable. I would trade him today for a number three. I guess offense sells tickets, but the jays are clearly trying to build a group of ground ball pitchers and so the twenty or so hits that Escobar would get would that Hech wouldn’t would be negated. (the scouts say Hech could hit 15, too, which would help).

    Time to go nurse a wicked hangover. Kinda rambling, but to funnel this all down I’d like to ask, what would everyone want in return for Escobar? There is a lot of pitching out there.

  13. I tell ya, you wouldn’t hear about this if it were Michael Young.

    • Maybe Yunel figures the only way to get some MVP votes is to make a big stink about a position change and then put up a semi decent offensive season afterwards.

    • I know it’s been said before, but damn I wish I could hit the Like button right now!

  14. Let’s send Griffin and Elliott to cover the Yankees & Red Sox camps. May as well send Damien Cox too. Then let’s wait 2 days for the stories to percolate.

  15. “Like” button!

  16. Stupid moving Yunel. Rightly or wrongly, he’s clearly an emotional player who plays best when he’s happy. So in my mind, it’s keep him there or trade him. You’re just going to end up with a crappy 2B if you move him against his wishes.

    More importantly, the upgrade defensively is much less important considering Yunel is a very good defensive SS in his own right. If he was crap, or even average, then the upgrade to an elite SS would be much more valuable. But come on, how many plays do you remember from last year that Yunel booted that you think a truly elite SS WOULD have made? 5? 10 at the most? He makes all the easy plays, and just about all the tought ones. I don’t think the 5-10 plays/year that Hech might make over Yunel is worth the likely .75-.100 point difference in OPS.

    I just hope Hech tears it up in AAA this year, builds up a lot of value, and tehn we trade him before he ever sees the Big Clube, and completely kills his trade value by hitting sub.650

  17. You can tell it’s the silly season. Who gives a shit what The Boston Globe says? They don’t owe the Jays any favours. And they aren’t gonna say ‘Wow! Lookiethat! The Jays got 2 great shortstops!!!’ They are gonna say ‘There is a problem because….’ Other teams’ problems are good currency right now given what happened in Boston last September, so if there aren’t any, they’ll try and create some. Last I heard Hachevarria hadn’t done anything much offensively and they thought he was a season away. If he spells Escobar off the bench and does well, ‘s’ all good. I don’t think this ‘problem’ raises its head until this time next year. At the earliest. And if it gets to the point of shipping Escobar off, well he’s got a team-friendly contract and now he has a good rep, so he should be worth something.

  18. The exciting part is that AA has this set up all over the diamond. In a year from now:

    JPA or D’arnaud?

    Rasmus or Gose (with Marisnick 1-2 years behind)? Or Gose in CF and Rasmus in LF? What of Snider, Thames, Sierra?

    AA has several options and it’s fun to speculate but who knows how this all plays out in the next year or two.

    Personally, I think Hech’s greatest value is to a team that is in dire need of a SS and that’s not the Jays. Perhaps if Alex Gonzalez sucks (as Fangraphs SS power rankings suggests he will) and Hech has some sexy Vegas stats he can be packaged with Kelly Johnson for Rickie Weeks. It certainly wouldn’t be the most outrageous trade AA has ever made (with Melvin)…

    • Agreed.

      Remember when you were a kid and played with your little army soldiers? Or maybe it was Star Wars figures? Or maybe it was making trades with that stash of baseball cards? If AA had been a kid on my block, he would have been the king of the fucking hill.

      He’s been been quietly accumulating intriguing pieces since he took the helm. Hopefully, Rogers will give him enough financial rope so that he can apply his ninja-like powers.

  19. Here’s the thing: practically, there isn’t much of a difference between Hech at second and Yunel at short and the opposite assignments. The skillset necessary for each position is similar, and while SS gets more opportunities, the overall defensive burden for both positions isn’t far apart. So the defensive advantage of having Hech at shortstop would be minimal. However, moving Escobar to second would significantly dent his trade value, and we don’t know if it would upset him, impacting his production.

    This is all dependent on Hech hitting well enough to confidently pencil him in as a starter in the majors, but if it happens, I think our best option is to trade Yunel (who, at 29, is likely near or past his peak anyways). He should be a very valuable commodity on the trade market, given his contract, and especially when you look at all the contending teams who have considerable issues at the position.

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