Chase Headley: Contract Talks Or Trade Bait?
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Monday May 6th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
For the past few seasons, Chase Headley has been the one guy on the roster that the San Diego Padres can rely on. Last year, he put up MVP-like numbers, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs.
This year, he is really the only guy in the lineup that can truly produce runs. Yonder Alonso has that capability, but he is still a bit raw. Headley is signed to a one-year $8.58 million contract.
He becomes Arbitration-eligible in 2014 and is a Free Agent in 2015. The Padres are faced with a conundrum: should they trade Headley?
This third baseman is 28 years old—about the time when most players enter their prime. With the season we saw from Headley in 2012, I think it is safe to say that he has already entered his prime, and probably has two or three more years similar to 2012 ahead of him.
If the Padres are building for the future, which I sure hope they are, they need to trade Headley right away.
The Hunter Pence trade from the Astros to the Phillies is a good example of a net return the Padres could receive. The Phillies had an abundance of young prospects, and the Astros were in a situation similar to that of the Padres. The Astros got Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and Josh Zeid for Pence, cash, and a PTBNL.
Headley might not carry the same value that Pence did at the time, but I’m sure that the Padres could get a similar deal to the one that the Astros got. One trade that could be exemplary of what the Padres need to do is the Hunter Pence trade from the Astros to the Phillies.
The Phils had an abundance of young prospects, and the Astros were in a situation similar to that of the Padres. The Astros got Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and Josh Zeid for Pence, cash, and a PTBNL.
Headley might not carry the same value that Pence did at the time, but I’m sure that the Padres could get a similar deal to the one that the Astros got.
Singleton, the centerpiece of the Pence deal, is currently in AA and is only 21. He is exactly what I mean when I talk about a player to build a team around.
If the Padres signed Headley instead of trading him, they would definitely get some run production in the next few years, but would continue to perform at the same level as a team.
A team cannot build on a 28 year old in hopes of having him as the catalyst of an offense in five to ten years. What the Padres should do is trade for a prospect like Jurickson Profar.
This Rangers prospect is only 20 years of age and has some brief Major League experience. Profar, though, is the most highly regarded prospect in the game right now and it would take a lot more than Chase Headley to land him.
Besides, the Rangers are already set at Third base with Adrian Beltre. The point being made is the Padres need a young prospect with a lot of potential.
The only way I see the Padres signing Headley to an extension is if they make a midseason trade and land a guy like Giancarlo Stanton —something I do not see happening.
One team I think could have some interest in Headley is the Dodgers. Hanley Ramirez just went down with a nasty – looking hamstring injury, Mark Ellis was just placed on the DL, and the team is struggling mightily.
I do not see the Dodgers getting anywhere this year with an Infield containing Dee Gordon, Nick Punto, and Justin Sellers. Headley would provide a nice boost to the offense and could help bridge the gap until Hanley Ramirez comes back. Then, upon his return, Headley could either set the table for Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley or could drive them in.
In addition, the Dodgers would have no problem resigning Headley due to their current monetary standing. A possible obstacle to this deal would be the fact that the Dodgers and the Padres play in the same division.
I think at this point the Padres are so far out of contention – and will be out of contention for the next few years – that Headley playing for the Dodgers would not make a tremendous difference.
Another team I could see trying to get Headley is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are pretty set right now with Kyle Seager at Third, but adding Headley’s bat into the lineup could work wonders.
The Mariners already made some strides to improve their offense in the offseason by adding Jason Bay and Kendrys Morales, and Headley would be another nice addition. The Mariners also have the prospects to trade in Nick Franklin, Danny Hultzen, and Taijuan Walker.
All in all, I think it would be a big mistake if the Padres signed Chase Headley to an extension.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter. Follow @BernieOlshansky
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Posted on May 6, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bernieolshansky on twitter, adrian beltre, baseball, bernie olshansky, carlos quentin, chase headley, colorado rockies, danny hultzen, dee gordon, giancarlo stanton, hanley ramirez, hitting, jarred cosart, jason bay, josh zeid, jurickson profar, Justin Sellers, kendrys morales, kyle seager, lineup, los angeles dodgers, los-angeles-dodgersm dodgers, mark ellis, mlb, national league, Nick Franklin, nick punto, nl west, padres, phillies, RBI leaders 2012, san diego padres, san francisco giants, taijuan walker, trades, yonder alonso. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Chase Headley: Contract Talks Or Trade Bait?.