Free Agent Updates: Chase Headley
By Matt Mirro
The Yankees have expressed significant interest in resigning third baseman Chase Headley, who they acquired in a trade with the San Diego Padres before last year’s trade deadline. Headley is a Gold Glove-caliber fielder, a switch-hitter with above average pop in his bat, and he can also play first base. It’s obvious why the Yankees want him back and why so many other teams are in the hunt as well.
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Now that the San Francisco Giants lost Pablo Sandoval to the Red Sox, they’re expected to be big players in the Headley sweepstakes. The Cleveland Indians were rumored to be in on him but that interest seems to have diminished. The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays among others have all been linked to Headley. With Sandoval, who according to some measures isn’t that much better than Headley, who garnered a 5-year $98 million dollar contract. Many now wonder what Headley’s price tag will be.
The Yankees reportedly have issues with Headley’s history of back problems ,which is why they are hesitant to lock him up to an extended contract for big money. They have some worries about his inconsistencies throughout his career. To be fair, other than his monstrous 2012 season that saw him hit 31 home runs and drive in 115 runs, Headley has been a great fielder with a decent bat. So, the Yankees want him back but they’ll want him back on their terms. Here’s a Tweet from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports from earlier today on the matter:
Three years could be enough if the Yankees offer the right money along with it. They have their fair share of competition for the 30-year-old third baseman, but if they Yankees truly want Headley, the Blue Jays and Marlins won’t stop them. A three-year deal is very team friendly and would provide sufficient time for the Yankees’ third base prospects like Eric Jagielo to develop. Headley has expressed mutual interest in staying in the Bronx, but only if he can be an everyday third baseman. The Yankees seem to be leaning in that direction with uncertainties surrounding Alex Rodriguez.
If Headley does decide to go elsewhere and the Yankees are unable to acquire another third baseman, Martin Prado, currently the team’s second baseman, would likely shift over to third base while Rob Refsnyder 0r Jose Pirela play second.
The Yankees first choice is Headley and that would give the Bombers a very solid infield both defensively and offensively (Still in need of a shortstop of course). Headley would also finally be the serviceable backup at first base that the Yankees so desperately need. Will the Yankees be able to lock up Headley? This Thanksgiving Headley is a hot commodity and he’ll have a lot on his plate to consider.