The night of July 24 was the craziest night that we have seen in baseball this season, and it may end up being more crazy than the night of the actual trade deadline itself. For Yankees fans, it was big not because of a trade, but rather because of an injury.
Alex Rodriguez suffered a broken hand in the loss to the Seattle Mariners, and projections are that he will miss at least a month. While he thankfully should be back for the playoffs, this is still not good news for a team faced with a very tough division.
Yes, A-Rod has not exactly been the MVP of the team, but you can't just replace a .274 average and 15 home runs in a trade at the deadline.
Headley is hitting .265 with 11 home runs, and if you take out his Petco Park numbers, his average just so happens to go up to .274. Just like that, the Yankees can get a viable replacement for Rodriguez.
Does that mean it will happen?
My short answer to that is no, and it is a no for two simple reasons.
First off, the Yankees already have Eric Chavez. He's hitting about as well as A-Rod was on a per-at-bat basis, and his offense and defense are good enough this year that he can be the everyday starter and it would not be an issue.
Secondly, Chase Headley is under contract through 2014. What would the Yankees do in this case? Would A-Rod become the DH? A logjam of talent isn't the worst thing, but it's far from ideal.
Furthermore, Eduardo Nunez will be available as a backup again soon enough. He was finally activated from the DL and should be back in the majors shortly. With Chavez at third, Nunez be can be the primary backup and retake his place as utility man.
Even with all of this factored in, the fact is that the Padres are going to want a lot for Headley. The Yankees would need to trade at least one of their top prospects.
D.J. Mitchell is not going to be good enough for the Padres. They will likely want either Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos and others—possibly Jose Campos or David Phelps.
Are the Yankees really going to sacrifice their future for what amounts to a rental for the season? That's not going to happen, and it should not happen.
The Yankees are fine. They got past losing Mariano Rivera, they got past losing Brett Gardner, and they'll get past losing Alex Rodriguez. They are seven games up right now in spite of all their injuries, and A-Rod will be back for the playoffs, so there's no need to panic in the Bronx.