Yankees Trade Rumors: Brian Cashman Must Avoid Overspending for Third Baseman

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  Chase Headley #7 of the San Diego Padres hits 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

According to CBSSports' Jon Heyman, Alex Rodriguez is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, but that doesn't mean general manager Brian Cashman needs to panic.

The hot corner will be undermanned in Yankee Stadium for longer than he'd like, but it's not worth overspending to change. The market just isn't right for it.

Chase Headley is the biggest third baseman available, but he's not necessarily worth the reportedly high price tag San Diego's front office has on his head. Rodriguez has been down for one day, and the rumblings have already begun.

New York Post reporter Joel Sherman doesn't see the Yankees and Padres making a trade.

#Padres do not see #Yankees as good fit for Headley. They r down road with several other teams willing to part with hi-end prospects

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2012

On the other hand, ESPN's Buster Olney still has hope.

As of 1:50, the Yankees hadn't had a conversation with the Padres about Chase Headley. There will be.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2012

The only thing we know for sure, courtesy of Sherman again, is that Cashman is keeping an eye on the current situation in his team's lineup.

The Yankees GM said this morning that he had not even engaged the market yet, but planned to explore what third base options exist.

That's Wednesday morning. Rodriguez's injury happened Tuesday night. Whether Cashman shows it or not, he obviously considers this a semi-serious situation.

It would be for any other team, but this Yankee lineup can plug the holes until he returns. Rodriguez has hit 14 home runs and driven home 44 RBI this year at a .276 clip, and he won't be easy to replace, but Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix can do the job for the time being. 

If San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes wants to hold Headley for a king's ransom, every team, including the Yankees, should be extremely hesitant. He's under team control until 2014, but his only major value is his ability to get on base.

That could be useful in this home run-happy Yankee lineup, but it isn't worth parting with the future to get. I can't imagine Cashman would readily give up Gary Sanchez, and Mason Williams is even more difficult to believe. If Byrnes is truly driving a high price, he's likely to ask for one of them.

It's not worth it. There are other options out there.

Ty Wigginton has been rumored (via Jon Heyman), but nothing has come of that yet.

Aramis Ramirez is unlikely (Heyman).

Headley's two years of team control at an affordable price ($3.48 million in 2012) makes him an attractive option, but it doesn't make sense.

The Yankees would be required to give up potentially key future pieces to acquire a stopgap solution not too far from what they already have. Once Rodriguez returns, and he will, the newly acquired third baseman serves no purpose whatsoever.

New York will continue to do what it does best: hit home runs. Six-to-eight weeks isn't a death sentence, and the Yankees can't treat it as such.