Yankees: If Headley had been traded, we wouldn’t have this problem now
The Yankees were begged by fans and media to dump him during the offseason. They didn’t, and now it’s coming back to haunt them. Because if they had traded him, the team wouldn’t have this problem now.
The Yankees, sometimes, are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Chase Headley was, perhaps, the most unwanted player in the organization during the offseason. Trading him for a bag of peanuts became a constant refrain. And even if the peanuts turned out to be stale, no one cared. The team chose not to, and now look at what they have to deal with.
Chase Headley will simply not go away. And apparently, he didn’t get the message booting him out of town. Or, maybe he did, and he just said to himself, “Oh yeah?”.
Because very quietly, Headley is putting together a season that cannot go unnoticed. Plus, he’s saved his best for last when the Yankees need it most, now!
In his last 22 games, Headley is hitting .329 with an on base percentage of .413. He’s also found the power stroke he had misplaced with six home runs, driving in twelve and scoring 12 runs in that span.
Three players for two spots
All of which has made him one big pain in the butt for Joe Girardi, who has to make up a lineup every night, choosing between three players for two spots.
Girardi’s problem is exasperated also by the fact that Headley transformed himself into a reliable first baseman when the team dumped Chris Carter, and Greg Bird was still rehabbing from injury.
Then, to further compound the problem, Brian Cashman jumps in with a trade bringing Todd Frazier in from the White Sox, a move which, at the time, was made only to prevent the Red Sox, who were desperate for a third baseman, from getting him.
Frazier comes over here like a kid in a candy store, filled with enthusiasm, close to home in New Jersey, and with dreams of a World Series title dancing in his head, commanding his place in the Yankees lineup with the promise of power the Yankees didn’t have at the time.
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Following that episode, Greg Bird, against all the odds, announces to the world he will play for the Yankees before the season is over. Once proclaimed by Cashman as the best pure hitter in the Yankees organization, Bird does come back commanding his rightful place in the lineup.
Meanwhile, though, through all of this, Headley is still hitting.
And that’s not all. Matt Holliday comes back injury and clogs up the DH spot, where Girardi had been flip-flopping Bird and Headley with Frazier at third, giving all three a chance to be in the lineup.
Recapping what we have here
So, we have Holliday solely in the DH role with a propensity to get the big hit, you have Frazier with the power bat threat (and delivery of late) at third, with Bird needing at-bats to get his stroke and timing back, and no place for Headley.
Except there has to be a place for Headley. Typically, managers go with the hot hand, especially in the playoffs. This would mean Headley gets the nod over Frazier and he plays third.
At the moment, though, Girardi seems reluctant to make that move, believing that Frazier’s value to the team is the home run and his wizardry in the field.
Now, who would have thought back in December, the Yankees would have this problem when they decided the bag of peanuts they had was not worth the stale bag they’d receive for Headley. Funny how these things work out sometimes.
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