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Marlins shouldn't pay Adeiny Hechavarria more than Christian Yelich

Brandon Crawford has just signed a six-year, $75 million contract with the Giants, and the deal has set the bar for shortstop contracts this winter.

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Adeiny Hechavarria reportedly wants a $120 million deal, similar to the one Elvis Andrus inked with the Texas Rangers a few seasons ago. That deal hasn't panned out particularly well for the Rangers, and the Marlins will be well aware of this. So, Hechavarria can think again if he believes that he can get that much money from this team. However, the contract that Brandon Crawford just signed with San Francisco is more of an appropriate measuring stick.

Crawford is an All-Star and Gold Glove award winner; Hechavarria is not. With that being said, $75 million over six years is more than what Hechavarria can hope to achieve. The contract Andrelton Simmons signed in 2014 ($58 million over seven years) is more of a realistic set of figures for Hechavarria, as the two players are very similar in terms of talent. However, that would result in the Cuban being paid more than Christian Yelich, and that is not right.

During Spring Training, Yelich signed a contract worth $49.5 million over seven years. This came after a Gold Glove campaign where he also batted .284. First of all, Adeiny Hechavarria cannot say either of those things about his performance this season. Hechavarria did enjoy his best season to date, though. He hit for a .281 average, drove in a career-high 48 runs, and narrowly missed out on a Gold Glove (again).

Despite the improvement in production, this is likely the shortstop's ceiling. On the other hand, Yelich, who is three years younger, is still improving greatly with every game. The left fielder hit an even .300 this year after a monster second half of the season where he hit .342. Some scouts believe that 2015 was the first of many .300-plus seasons Yelich will produce over his career.

If Yelich can maintain this level of production, then the Marlins have struck gold with the team-friendly contract that is in place. Maybe the Fish got a hometown discount (in the sense that they were the team who drafted him), or maybe Yelich couldn't resist all that money at such a young age. Whatever the case was, the Marlins look like they have themselves a bargain.

They may not be so lucky if the really wish to lock Hechavarria up. A mixture of his outrageously high contract aspirations and the going rate on the market will mean that, if a deal is done, Hechavarria will be getting more money from the Marlins than Yelich is. In terms of production and overall impact on the win column, that isn't fair. That is not to say that Hechavarria is a bad player, Yelich has just put up better numbers at a younger age.

Miami needs to add a lot of talent to this roster to contend for the playoffs in the near future. Locking up core players is also a good strategy for success, but paying Hechavarria as much as the Giants paid Brandon Crawford would be a mistake. If Miami pays Hechavarria a lot more than the Braves paid Andrelton Simmons, then it may come back to bite them in the future, especially if the payroll continues to be tightly restricted.