The Pirates continue to add pieces for a possible playoff berth run, as they acquired veteran shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and cash considerations from the Rays for minor league pitcher Matt Seelinger, per announcements from both teams.
The Pirates have acquired infielder Adeiny Hechavarria and cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for RHP Matt Seelinger. pic.twitter.com/D3TZeera0V— Pirates (@Pirates) August 6, 2018
We’ve traded SS Adeiny Hechavarria to Pittsburgh in exchange for minor league RH Matt Seelinger.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 6, 2018
Best wishes, Hechy. pic.twitter.com/F0RS467leJ
Hechavarria has been dealt for the second straight year. In June 2017, the 29-year-old was traded to the Rays from the Marlins. He ended up slashing .257/.289/.411 and also posting a .987 fielding percentage in 77 games.
This year, Hechavarria was slashing .258/.289/.332 with three homers and 26 RBI in 61 games before the Rays designated him for assignment last Wednesday. However, His .990 fielding percentage is fourth-best in the majors this season among shortstops with at least 200 innings.
The Pirates hope Hechavarria’s defensive presence can help them as they pursue their first postseason berth since 2015. On July 31, the Pirates also acquired standout starter Chris Archer from the Rays. The Pirates are five games behind the Braves for the second wild card and 7 1⁄2 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central.
As for the Rays, they are getting a nice pitcher so far in Seelinger. He is 1-3 with a 3.03 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 32 2⁄3 innings pitched across 28 appearances this season for Single-A West Virginia. He has converted all seven of his save opportunities this season and leads the South Atlantic League with 25 games finished, and has a 14.33 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. He was selected by the Pirates in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Farmingdale State College.