Posted by: Peter Houston | April 7, 2010

ah-THEY-nee eh-CHA-ba-ree-ah

Start getting used to saying that, because that’s how you pronounce the Jays future at shortstop.

According to a report from The Star’s Morgan Campbell,  Adeiny Hechavarria (and yes, that is pronounced ah-THEY-nee eh-CHA-ba-ree-ah) has secured a U.S. work visa and will report to the Jays training complex in Florida by the end of the week.

Hechavarria’s agent, Bart Hernandez, said Eh-Cha (we’ll leave it at that, for now) is still in Cancun, Mexico, where he has been presumbaly drinking away to $10 million contract he signed in mid-March. There has been a lot of confusion among Jays fans and the media as to what was going on with Eh-Cha after reports came out saying he had signed with the Jays, but management remained silent for over  a month. It appears, as many speculated, that he was just waiting for his work visa and it actually didn’t take any longer than normal.

The 21-year-old Cuban has drawn comparisons to Alfonso Soriano, but with defence. That’s ridiculous. There’s not much known about him, but when he left Cuba last year he was considered their top shortstop.

What’s amazing about this signing is that the Yankees actively pursued him. But Eh-Cha didn’t like that Derek Jeter doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, so he chose the Jays. There’s no doubt that Johnny Mac and Alex Gonzalez will be quickly brushed aside whenever he’s ready.

Eh-Cha will probably start the year in the minors, but what level isn’t clear. I’m sure that will be announced at the press conference as soon as he passes his physical.

By the way, if it wasn’t obvious before, this is a beauty signing. They swooped in and snagged a top prospect from the Yankees. If they’re ever going to have a chance in the AL East, these are the types of deals they need to be working. Tip of the hat to you, AA.


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