(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay Rays have traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Matt Seelinger, who will join Class-A Bowling Green.
Hechavarria, 29, was designated for assignment on August 1. He appeared in 61 games and made 57 starts, all at shortstop, for the Rays this season, batting .258/.289/.332 (56-for-217) with seven doubles, three home runs and 26 RBI. Among shortstops with at least 200 innings, his .990 fielding pct. is fourth in the majors and second in the AL. On June 30 against the Houston Astros, he snapped errorless streaks spanning two seasons at 94 games and 319 total chances—both the longest streaks in franchise history for a shortstop. He was acquired from the Miami Marlins on June 26, 2017, and hit .257/.289/.376 (124-for-482) over parts of two seasons with the Rays. He hit 10 home runs in 482 at-bats with the Rays, compared to 13 home runs in 2,122 at-bats over five seasons (2013-17) with the Marlins. He debuted with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.
Seelinger, 23, is 1-3 with a 3.03 ERA (32.2-IP, 11-ER) and 52 strikeouts in 28 appearances this season for Class-A West Virginia. He has converted all seven of his save opportunities this season and leads the South Atlantic League with 25 games finished, while his 14.33 strikeouts per nine innings ratio would rank second among the league’s relievers if he pitched enough innings to qualify. He was selected by the Pirates in the 28th round of the 2017 June Draft out of Farmingdale State College, and was the sixth of 12 Division III players drafted that year. He was the first Farmingdale State player to ever be drafted. Over his collegiate career, he was named All-Conference and All-Region twice, and was the Skyline Pitcher of the Year in 2016. He began his professional career with Short-A West Virginia in the New York-Penn League in 2017, pitching to a 1.80 ERA (30-IP, 6-ER) in 20 appearances. Over parts of two minor league seasons, he is 1-4 with a 2.44 ERA (62.2-IP, 17-ER) and 12.78 strikeouts per nine innings ratio, with 11 saves in 12 opportunities.
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