MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Best Destinations for Padres' Chase Headley
Headley's name doesn't match up with Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday and others from trade deadlines in years past. Nor should it.
However, with Headley being able to drive in runs, hit the ball over the fence and provide a presence at a corner infield position, teams will be waiting in line for his services.
Here are three destinations that will suit Headley best:
(All statistics are prior to Saturday's games.)
Ichiro, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez (not healthy, which would mean Headley would receive playing time at third), Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and the rest of the New York Yankees' roster is a perfect fit for any player who can hit the ball.
Why? Lack of need for that player. Of course Headley would be asked to hit the ball well, but the pressure wouldn't be as much as in San Diego or other markets. With those future Hall of Famers on the roster, Headley can relax and expect to see more pitches to hit.
Depending on where he would fit in the batting order, Headley would benefit from pitchers needing to throw first-pitch strikes and pitchers staying away from breaking balls early. Headley would see more quality pitches, which would lead to a higher batting average.
Which destination would suit Headley best?
Wilson Betemit has been a surprising story for Baltimore this year. He's not having a great season, but he's been more than asked for.
The nine-year professional was batting .251 with 11 home runs and 34 RBI before Saturday night's action. Headley would be an upgrade in every category.
Headley is batting .265 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI.
While Betemit is formidable at third, the upgrade is on the table. Baltimore would be wise to add Headley with its 25th-best batting average and 19th in runs statistics.
Cleveland is hovering around .500 in an average AL Central Division. Why not go for the biggest player in free agency if the price is right?
Jose Lopez and Jack Hannahan have been doing a decent job as a tandem at third base this season, but the Indians would be better off with a more consistent threat at a position that calls for it.
Headley would be an immediate upgrade on a contending team if traded to the Indians. With the Indians hovering around contention, this could be a deal that pushes them into the race heading down the stretch.
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