Yankees Trade Rumors: New York Would Be Wise to Steer Clear of Chase Headley

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JULY 27: Chase Headley #7 of the San Diego Padres bats during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 27, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

After suffering a fractured hand due to being hit by a pitch, it was learned that New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez would be out until the latter stage of the regular season. That instantly put the Yankees in the discussion to acquire San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley, but the Bronx Bombers should stay away.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees likely won't be able to get Headley due to A-Rod's impending return in September and his contract, which runs through 2017. While that may disappoint some fans, it appears as though it would simply take too much to get a fairly average player in Headley.

While Headley is having a decent year with a .265 average, 12 home runs, 51 RBI and 10 steals, every indication is that the Padres are asking for a king's ransom of prospects in return. That is understandable since the offensively starved Padres would be dealing one of their best hitters, but it wouldn't make sense for the Yanks.

The fact that A-Rod should be back before the playoffs is one reason why Headley shouldn't be considered, but the Yankees would also be better served to save their prospects for a different potential trade.

New York doesn't necessarily have to make a move at all, but if an impact starting or relief pitcher can be had for a reasonable package, that is the direction it should go in.

While a starting four of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, a returning Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes should be good enough to contend for and win a World Series thanks to the Yankees offense, a pitcher like Josh Johnson, James Shields or someone else could come in handy. Also, the Yanks could try to acquire a reliever such as Jonathan Broxton or Huston Street.

None of those players are a necessity, but they would be key contributors in the playoffs. Headley, meanwhile, would be supplanted by Rodriguez.

If the Yankees are looking for a fringe guy to split time with Eric Chavez while A-Rod heals, then that is one thing, but Headley is someone who needs to play regularly.

Headley would probably produce for the Yanks since he is a switch-hitter and could use the short right-field porch to his advantage as a lefty, but going after him would send the wrong message to Rodriguez. A-Rod obviously isn't the player he once was, but he is still an important part of the middle of New York's batting order.

Even when Rodriguez isn't in top form, opposing pitchers have to be wary of him. Additionally, he helps those around him in the lineup get better pitches to hit.

Headley is a decent player, but he doesn't do any of that. A-Rod is going to be the main man when he does return, so there is no need for anything more than a stopgap option at third right now.

The Yanks may very well have already made their impact trade by getting outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners, and if that is all they do, then that may still be plenty.

The Yankees have a well-rounded lineup and much better pitching than they had last season. Everyone always expects general manager Brian Cashman to do something, but New York may be done.

Headley is a player that would be a solid fit for the Yankees if Rodriguez was going to miss the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, but since A-Rod is only out temporarily, New York should remain laissez-faire in its pursuit of Headley.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter