The Padres are considering trading Chase Headley, and there isn’t a team more desperate to add a position player right now than the New York Yankees. While it would be nice to pull off a Swisher-like trade for Headley, sending Dellin Betances, and an autographed Derek Jeter game-used bat to San Diego in return for last year’s 5th place NL MVP pick, it is unlikely. So, I have a simple question: What is your best offer?
Headley has been worth an average of 4.0 bWAR over the past 3 seasons, capped by an impressive 6 WAR performance last year. He’s entering his age 29 season with two years of team control left on his contract. Headley plays a very good third base, and has hitting talent that was masked by his home ballpark for most of his career, before an impressive breakout last season. He is a career .302/.372/.464 hitter away from PETCO, including .300/.395/.541 in 2012.
For all intents and purposes, Headley is fairly comparable to Ryan Zimmerman or Evan Longoria. A lot of teams are going to want him in their uniform, although the Yankees are perhaps in better shape than if they were bidding for him during the meat of the hot stove season, when teams had not yet set a plan for their lineups or budget.
So, what’s your best offer for Chase Headley? Here’s mine: David Phelps, Mark Montgomery, Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams, and Corban Joseph.
The Padres receive a starting pitcher who might be better than any player in their 2012 rotation and is under control for 5 more years (2 pre arbitration), a top relief prospect, a risky but high upside center fielder to roam their huge outfield, and an underrated 2nd base prospect that can allow Logan Forsythe to play at another position, or exercise his utility superpowers.
I don’t want to give up more than this. Two years of Chase Headley is great, but the Yankees can’t afford to give up too many future wins for present wins. They are already positioned with a poorly-constructed roster for 2015-2018, and will need a healthy supply of young. cheap WAR to weather the storm without welcoming in the suck years for an extended period of time. And while Headley is a fantastic player, the Yankees do have Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez under long term contract, meaning that Headley would force Alex Rodriguez to full time DH. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but Arod can still play third reasonable well, so there is a trade off there if he is able to play again. It would decrease roster flexibility to have a full time DH for years to come as well.
But maybe I am wrong. I’m curious what everyone else’s best offer is for Headley. What would you give up? Would you throw in another top prospect to the package like Tyler Austin? Would you start talking about Gary Sanchez? Ivan Nova?