The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports
Where there's smoke, there's fire. And even though the smoke was cleared temporarily when the San Diego Padres told the New York Yankees that Chase Headley wasn't available, the Yankees appear ready to move on from the Alex Rodriguez fiasco.
Acquiring Headley to man the hot corner would help put that distraction to rest.
If anything, the Padres and Yankees have some time to get creative and work out a trade that would benefit both sides. By adding outfielder Chris Denorfia (.708 OPS, 7 HR, 7 SB) to the deal, the Yankees would get a pair of gritty and talented players signed through next season.
After a rough start, Headley is beginning to heat up with an .836 OPS in July. His power numbers aren't there, but it wasn't until the second half of 2012 that he exploded for 23 homers and 73 runs batted in. The Yankees won't have to pay as much as it would've cost to land Headley this past offseason, but it still won't be cheap.
Michael Pineda (3.38 ERA in eight starts between Triple-A, Double-A and High-A), who was an All-Star during his rookie season with the Mariners, has yet to pitch a game with the Yankees since being acquired prior to the 2012 season because of a shoulder injury. Trading him before he gets that chance would seem like a huge letdown.
But the guy they traded for him, Jesus Montero, hasn't developed into the kind of hitter the M's had hoped, so maybe Brian Cashman isn't too attached. Good thing, because he might be required to complete a deal that includes Headley.
Also heading to San Diego would be David Adams (.905 OPS, 4 HR in 38 Triple-A games), who'd have a shot to claim the third base job (or second base if Jedd Gyorko replaces Headley at third base), and center field prospect Mason Williams (.739 OPS, 11 SB in 81 High-A games). Reliever Mark Montgomery would also be included (3.06 ERA in 20 Triple-A games), which would give the Padres the necessary bullpen depth to trade Luke Gregerson and starter Jose A. Ramirez (3.44 ERA between Triple-A and Double-A).
The idea of having Andrew Cashner and Michael Pineda, if they can both stay healthy, at the top of their rotation to start the 2014 season could be all the incentive the Padres need to make this deal.
3B/2B David Adams
CF Mason Williams
RHP Michael Pineda
RHP Michael Montgomery
RHP Jose A. Ramirez
3B Chase Headley
OF Chris Denorfia