Chase Headley is undeniably the San Diego Padres best hitter. In 2012, Headley led the Padres by hitting 31 home runs and drove in a career-high 115 runs. Along with his impressive offensive numbers, Headley was named a finalist for the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
Headley was also one of the most talked about names brought up around the 2012 trade deadline. Sports Illustrated reported that the Yankees, Orioles, Indians, Pirates and Athletics were all interested in acquiring his services. However, the Padres surprised many when the July 31 deadline came and went and Headley remained in San Diego.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported that a main reason for lack of serious trade discussions was due to the Padres' high asking price. Because of Headley’s age (28) and extremely low contract ($3.475 million for 2012 and then an arbitration year for 2013-2014) value, the Padres knew they could inflate his market value.
So should the Padres simply entertain trade offers?
Entertaining backroom offers allow the Padres’ organization to realize Headley’s true value. The Padres are in need of an ace-caliber starting pitcher and should be exploring alternative right-fielders.
The Padres’ top prospect, Jedd Gyorko, seems to be MLB-ready. Though Gyorko played 47 games at second base in 2012, his true position is third base, currently occupied by Headley.
Though Headley’s contract goes until the end of 2014, the Padres won’t have the capital to re-sign him. As we saw with Adrian Gonzalez, even if Headley offers a hometown discount, the small-market in San Diego doesn’t have the cap room to compete with bigger offers.
Well, if you’ve read my other articles—most recently this one—you can guess my true opinion.
The Padres already have one of the best farm systems in baseball. So a trade package that delivers a slew of prospects to San Diego isn’t that enticing. Why give up a great hitter and continue the rebuilding phase? With Gyorko likely to start the season on the big club or be called up early, a solid veteran presence is vital for development.
The O’Malley Group should show their dedication to contending again and re-sign Headley to an extension soon. San Diego has all the pieces of being a true competitor in the NL West. Headley is a core piece of this group.
The Padres lineup will once again look intimidating with highly touted youths that include Gyorko, Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal, scattered around proven veterans like Headley and Carlos Quentin.
As for the aforementioned pitching problem, a comment on my previous article suggests a great alternative:
If they don't trade him and choose to hold onto him, look for them to maybe package a deal of top prospects [Spangenberg] and Hedges in a deal to aquire SP.. Which I think is the best move...Or even put Nick Hundley is too...
So there it is, arguments for and against entertaining trade offers for Chase Headley. What do you think? Let’s hear your opinions and predictions in the comments.