Bomber Bites with Jumping Joe–Chase Headley’s Price Just Went Up


The Boston Red Sox dug deep into their vast financial reserves last night to come to terms with Hanley Ramirez on a 5-year, $90 million deal.  Earlier this morning, it was reported by Jon Heyman, that the BoSox also signed former World Series MVP Pablo SandovalThe Red Sox owned the number 7 pick in next season’s draft which is protected, meaning that they do not lose a first round pick for signing a player who was tendered a qualifying offer.  A play for Jon Lester or a trade for starting pitching figures to be the next piece for the rebuilding of the team that was effectively blown up at the trade deadline last season.  Once Boston finalizes those pieces they will head into next season a vastly improved team and figure to challenge Baltimore for control of the AL East. 

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Meanwhile, the Yankees’ major move so far this off-season has been trading their backup catcher, Francisco Cervelli for reliever Justin Wilson.  They have major holes to fill across their roster and now one of the major identified priorities, re-signing third baseman Chase Headley, became much more difficult.

Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.

Headley might be one the biggest winners with the Red Sox latest spending spree.  If they sign both Ramirez and Sandoval, two of the best hitters on the market are suddenly gone, leaving Headley as far and away the best remaining third baseman available via free agency.  Any hope for a team friendly deal for the Bombers likely just flew out the window.

While it was once thought Headley might be willing to take a one year deal to stay in the Bronx and try and get back to his 2012 numbers before heading out into free agency again, that ship has apparently sailed.  If Headley were to sign such a deal, he would most assuredly be tied to draft pick compensation next off season, something that he does not have to deal with this season since he was traded mid-season.  He wants a lengthy multi-year deal, and it will likely take something in the range of $60-$75 million over 4 or 5 years to sign him.

The biggest problem with the Yankees the past two years has been their woeful offense.  Headley would not be the big offensive answer to that problem.  The answer there is simply not available on the free agent market this season.  But he would be a solid bat in the lineup and an excellent defender in the field.  With the alternative being playing the returning 39 year old Alex Rodriguez every day at third, Headley is certainly the preferred option.

Other teams will likely increase their offers to Headley soon and in advance of the upcoming winter meetings.  The Yankees may also feel increased pressure as they watch their arch-rival to the north stealing headlines and reloading for next season while they sit back on a team that has missed the playoff two years running.  The Yankees will need to make a play on someone soon.  If it’s Headley, his price will only increase the longer the Yankees drag their feet.