Possible trade destinations for Chase Headley
There has long been speculation throughout the offseason that the Yankees will trade one of, if not both of Brett Gardner and Chase Headley. I’m an irrationally big Gardner fan, so I would prefer they keep him, but I would have no problem with a Chase Headley trade to shed payroll. However, in order to trade him, the Yankees need a trade partner. However, there are many quality third basemen out there that are better than Headley, which could make a trade difficult. There are not many teams that have a glaring need at third base, but here are some that I could see pursuing a Headley trade:
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Giants: As of right not, the Giants Opening Day third baseman will either be Eduardo Nunez or Conor Gillaspie. Yikes. I like Nuney as much as the next guy from his Yankees days, but he’s not a starting third baseman, even if he was an All-Star last year. Don’t get me wrong, a .288/.325/.432 slash line with 16 homers and 40 stolen bases is really good, but I don’t think Nunez can be counted on for this type of production in 2017, especially when you factor in that he wasn’t very good defensively in 2016 (-2 defensive runs saved at 3B).
Gillaspie, on the other hand, has been nothing more than average to below average in his career. He was competent for the Giants last year (.262/.307/.440, six homers, two defensive runs saved), but he’s also not exactly starter material. However, acquiring Chase Headley would give the Giants above average defense at the position, along with pretty solid offense. Nothing spectacular, but Headley would be an upgrade over whatever Nunez and Gillaspie could bring to the table.
Pirates: The Pirates are kind of in a position like the Yankees right now, where they are willing to sell, but also want to compete. This explains the trade rumors surrounding Andrew McCutchen, but also the fact that they are pursuing a trade for Jose Quintana as well. Third base for Pittsburgh will probably be manned by either David Freese or Jung Ho Kang. Freese was decent in 2016, but like Nunez and Gillaspie, he probably shouldn’t be a starter if the Pirates want to contend. Kang, meanwhile, is facing DUI charges, and has had a few more incidents, since joining the Pirates organization, that leaves us to wonder whether or not he will be facing suspensions or not. Headley would be a major upgrade for the Pirates at third base, which would allow them to slide Kang, if he is playing, to shortstop, and Freese to first base or to a part-time role.
Athletics: They were rumored to be chasing Edwin Encarnacion before he signed with Cleveland, and have been linked to Jose Bautista in rumors, so why not? The A's traded third baseman Danny Valencia and will now look to rely on unproven guys within the organization to fill the void. They pursued Headley when he was a free agent a few years ago, and although I will never understand the way the A’s work, this seems like a move that might just be weird enough to happen.
Mets: This one seems like a long, long, looooong shot….but hey, why not? There’s no telling if David Wright is going to play again, or even at a level of production equivalent to Headley’s in the future, and unless the Mets trust Jose Reyes or Wilmer Flores at the position, Headley could be a good upgrade. Since it’s the Mets though, I doubt this would ever happen. But who knows?
Personally, if Headley was to be traded, the Giants would be his most likely destination. However, there might not even be a chance that Headley is traded at all. The Yankees have no in-house replacement for him, so it might just be better to keep him. Cashman has received offers for him, however, so a trade isn’t completely out of the question. But if Headley is going to be wearing a different uniform in 2017, I bet it will be the Giants.
Article by: Alex Weir
Article by: Alex Weir