MLB Trade Rumors: Chase Headley Would Be Perfect Replacement for Alex Rodriguez

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 25, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  Chase Headley #7 of the San Diego Padres runs the bases after hitting a homerun in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Felix Hernandez did his best Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn impression for the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night, plunking three batters. One of his victims was New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who will be on the disabled list with a broken hand until at least September (via CBS Sports' Jon Heyman).

A-Rod will be missed in the Yankees lineup. His injury won't be a crippling blow to one of the best offenses in baseball, but his absence may be enough for the Bombers to test the market for a replacement.

According to the aforementioned Heyman, the team is unlikely to go after San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley because it doesn't want to lose any prospects for his services. But there's no reason not to send young talent to the Padres for a stopgap at the hot corner.

Realistically, the Padres couldn't possibly ask for a king's ransom in return for a player hitting .270 with 12 homers and 51 RBI. Sure, the Yankees would have to part with quality young pieces, but it wouldn't be a trade that would kill the future of the organization.

The entire baseball world knows that the Yankees' standard operating procedure is spending big money on big-name players. For general manager Brian Cashman and the rest of the front office to stray from their M.O. would be foolish and rather unexpected.

It is World Series or bust for the Yankees every year, and they aren't going to get there with Eric Chavez or Jayson Nix manning third in September and possibly into October.

Even when A-Rod comes back, there's no way of knowing what kind of production he will be good for. That notion becomes even more unsettling when thinking about postseason play, in which—with the exception of 2009—Rodriguez has failed miserably.

ESPN's Buster Olney shares a different sentiment than Heyman and believes Headley would be a great fit in pinstripes (via Twitter):

The Yankees will be considering all 3B options, including Chase Headley, who'd make sense for them on a lot of levels.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2012

Headley is a switch-hitter, meaning that he would benefit from the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium (as well as the hitter-friendly left side of the park). The 28-year-old hits a decent amount of balls in the air and has walked 52 times this season, 14 more than Rodriguez.

His on-base percentage of .361 would put him second on the Yankees roster among qualifying players. Getting on base in that lineup is such a big part of the team's success, and Headley is 34th in the majors in that department.

It is a no-brainer for the Yankees to go after Headley, barring they don't have to sell the farm to get him. If they do manage to bring the Padre to the Bronx, it will be like Rodriguez never left.