While there apparently hasn’t been much traction in trade talks with other clubs, the New York Yankees reportedly still “would love” to move third baseman Chase Headley this winter.
In his latest column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reveals that the New York Yankees are still looking to find a taker for Chase Headley this winter as they continue the rebuilding process that began at the August 1st trade deadline.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in the novel situation of working within a tight budget this offseason. He’s told the media that he has more or less reached his spending limit after signing Aroldis Chapman and Matt Holliday at the Winter Meetings.
New York is rumored to be in the market for a veteran reliever, but If the team is going to make any further moves, they would have to create some financial wiggle room first by trading away one or more of their expensive veterans, with Headley and left fielder Brett Gardner the most likely candidates.
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If the front office were to move the $26 million owed to Headley over the next two years, they could then turn around and spend that money to not only bring in a lefty setup man like Boone Logan, who they’ve been connected to multiple times, but a stop-gap solution at third base for the next year or two like free agents Luis Valbuena or Trevor Plouffe.
In the long-term, the Yankees have several attractive options to plug in at the hot corner, but it’s hard to imagine any of them being ready before 2018. Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar seem like the front runners to be the third baseman of the future, but neither guy has played above Double-A at this point.
In the same article that features the Headley rumor, Cafardo notes that the club wants a strong package of young talent in return for Brett Gardner and isn’t merely looking to clear salary, and the same probably goes for Headley.
At 2.6 WAR according to Baseball-Reference, Headley is an above-average overall third baseman on a fair contract. Aside from an ugly April, the 32-year-old was solid on both sides of the ball in 2016. He’s just not the most exciting player in the world, which is why most fans are all for getting rid of him.
If the team does move him, Cafardo speculates that the Atlanta Braves are probably the best fit as they are trying to cobble together a respectable team for the opening of their new ballpark in 2017 and have a clear need at third. He also names the Giants and Cardinals as possibilities.