One day after falling 4-2 to the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees and went and acquired third baseman Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres. A source says the Bronx Bombers also got $1 million from the deal and sent Yangervis Solarte right-handed pitching prospect Rafael De Paula to San Diego.
The 30-year-old Headley has his contract up at season’s end. He led the National League in RBI in 2012, when he also received a Gold Glove, won a Silver Slugger and finished 5th in NL MVP voting. Considering how the Yanks are a lot closer to first place than the Friars are, Headley is about to get his chance to play some meaningful games in pinstripes. He should know all about performing in the stretch, winning the NL Player of the Month both in August 2012 and September 2012.
Here’s the big question: Which Chase Headley is this Yankee team picking up? The problem with him is since having those two great months, he hasn’t done anything worthy of note. He hasn’t produced at that same level. Headley hasn’t played as frequently, either. When he has played, he hasn’t been hitting, hasn’t gotten on base, hasn’t been driving players in. Headley’s in his contract year and he still hasn’t put up good numbers at the plate.
Headley’s going to a stadium which favors hitters much more than his old park did. It’s worth noting he’s hit above .300 in 6 career games at Fenway Park, but has hit .150 and .167 at Tropicana Field and Camden Yards, respectively. He’s actually hit Boston very well both home and away, though the same can’t be said for Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The only American League East ballpark he has never played in is at Rogers Centre in Toronto. However, he is 0-25 in his career against the Blue Jays, though he did draw 4 walks.
Even though Headley does come with his question marks, it’s hard to actually blame or criticize the Yankees for making this deal. De Paula has not looked impressive this season. It’s not like New York is giving up someone like an Aaron Judge, who is hitting more than .300 so far in the Minor Leagues. This is one of those low risk moves either way. If Headley pans out, they can say it was worth having him as a rental as this team hopes to get back to the World Series and more. If things go wrong for him, well, it’s not like the team surrendered a player who has posted impressive numbers so far as a Minor Leaguer.
In getting Solarte, the Padres get a player who is three years younger and can play third base like Headley did. In fact, it could be argued Solarte was having the better season between the two. This is the fourth organization Solarte is a part of, the Minnesota Twins, Rangers, Yankees and now the Padres. Even though third base is his natural position, he also has experience at shortstop and second base.
Regardless of how the Yankees do either way, Headley is bound to have a say in that. Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see how the Padres fare in this trade and how well they ended up when they cashed in Headley.