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July 23, 2014

Transaction Analysis

Headley Chased

by Sam Miller, Mike Gianella and Jeff Moore



IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

NEW YORK YANKEES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Reportedly traded SS-S Yangervis Solarte and RHP Rafael De Paula to the San Diego Padres for 3B-S Chase Headley and $1 million (7/22)

In the annals of Chase Headley rumors (see below), there are a lot of mentions, going back for years, of the Yankees. Mostly, it was writers speculating that the Yankees should be interested but noting that they hadn’t actually done anything to make a trade happen. Most recently, in January: “The team is not currently trying to work out a deal to bring Chase Headley over from the Padres.” But, every writer who ever posited a trade link between the Yankees and Headley screamed into his pillow, it would make so much sense! Alex Rodriguez was out, and nothing notable was in.

Instead the Yankees went with freely available options. If there was always something a little bit cocky about expecting Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Solarte to cover two infield positions on a $200 million team, the Yankees did at least have strength in numbers; if just two of the three could handle the task, the club would be fine. Give the front office credit, six months later, for reassessing. With Headley now a lock for third base (assuming health), then Johnson and Roberts can form a strange sort of platoon. The switch-hitting Roberts, traditionally, has been better from the left side. The lefty-hitting Johnson, meanwhile, is one of the small handful of left-handed hitters in history with a reverse platoon split. I doubt it’ll happen, but we might get to see the ultrarare reverse-platoon in action.

Headley’s outlook is a bit more promising than it was a month ago. Since July 1st, he has put up a funny little .323/.323/.462 line that wouldn’t mean much except that roughly half of the balls he has put in play during that time have been line drives. That slash line includes seven lineouts in 15 games. Mike Napoli, by comparison, has hit six lineouts all year.

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Related Content:  New York Yankees,  San Diego Padres

20 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

fishersehorn31

Will Jedd Gyorko slide over to 3B with Headley gone????

Jul 22, 2014 13:55 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

Long-term probably yes, short-term probably no

Jul 22, 2014 14:02 PM
 
rzt101

I like how SD gave NYY $1M. I wonder if without that money, it was a deal breaker for the Yanks.

Jul 22, 2014 14:09 PM
rating: 2
 
Dodger300

This is not the first time.

It seems as if the Yankees won't make a trade any more unless they can get a little juice along with the player.

Jul 22, 2014 23:13 PM
rating: 0
 
Andrew Mearns

I'm still amused that the D'backs gave the Yankees money in addition to Brandon McCarthy just for the privilege of employing Vidal Nuno.

Jul 23, 2014 08:15 AM
rating: 2
 
David Coonce

Isn't DePaula like 30 years old and in single-A. Lousy return for Headley, but better than the nothing they would have gotten this winter.

Jul 22, 2014 14:43 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

He's 23 and striking out 11 per nine in High-A

Jul 22, 2014 14:57 PM
 
David Coonce

I was trying to be funny (and failing) but hasn't DePaula admitted several times to lying about his age? That was my real question. And 23 doesn't seem *that* young for high-A. But it's still better than nothing. The Padres really dropped the ball on this one. Even three months ago the return would have been much much greater.

Jul 22, 2014 16:53 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

I *almost* gave you the benefit of the doubt, and I should have. Hate it when somebody assumes I'm wrong instead of joking. And, to be clear, my response wasn't intended to be snippy; just wanted to put a little biographical information out there, since we hadn't yet addressed De Paula in the article. Now we have, thanks to Jeff Moore.

Jul 22, 2014 17:01 PM
 
David Coonce

Thanks, Sam!

Jul 22, 2014 17:44 PM
rating: 0
 
Schlom

I've seen much talk about Headley being on the trade block after 2012 but was that really realistic? How often are 6+ WAR/WARP twenty-eight year olds 3B traded with two years of team control left? I'm sure the Padres would have traded him if they were blown away with an offer but was he really offered seriously?

Jul 22, 2014 16:18 PM
rating: 0
 
David Coonce

I think the Padres were shopping him that winter because of his refusal to negotiate an extension. Trying to trade him a year too early rather than a year too late. But alas...
Headley has been awful this season, and the Padres were never going to extend him the QO, so any return is better than nothing. But it still hurts a little, as a Padres fan, to see him go.

Jul 22, 2014 16:59 PM
rating: 0
 
newsense

Aside from the fantasy write-up, there's no mention of Solarte and what, if anything, he brings to the Padres

Jul 23, 2014 05:39 AM
rating: 3
 
David Coonce

Well, with Solarte and Amarista on the same team, the Padres have a matched pair. Utility infielders probably are pretty low on the list of needs for a bad team, but the Padres now have two of them.

Jul 23, 2014 05:46 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

He's a 27-year-old career minor leaguer who had a strong month for the Yankees before the league caught up to him. If he's lucky, he'll put up a solid two months and force his way into the conversation for a starting job next year, but it seems more likely that his future is as a utility infielder, insurance at AAA.

Jul 23, 2014 08:14 AM
 
Andrew Mearns

This is pretty much on point. Mike noted his numbers since May in the article, and he's been even worse since the start of June: .154/.267/.192 with a demotion mixed in. He was struggling so badly that he was demoted for Zelous Wheeler. That should just tell you just about everything you need to know.

He might be able to survive in a major league bench role, but it was clear that he was exposed as a regular once the AL figured him out in May.

Jul 23, 2014 08:18 AM
rating: 1
 
boards

"(Arguably the arm was liver and the utility infielder more utile in the Frieri deal"

I assume this is really "livelier" but I really like the idea that all they got was liver.

Jul 23, 2014 08:06 AM
rating: 5
 
Andrew Mearns

Also Jeff, admirable work on the Solon comparisons. I'm sure it was a challenge to come up with your own take on the Chase Headley trade rumor history after Grant Brisbee stole the show yesterday (as he is wont to do), but this was an entertaining spin.

Jul 23, 2014 08:20 AM
rating: 1
 
Asinwreck

This is one of the finest transaction analyses in the history of Baseball Prospectus. Christina Kahrl ought to be proud of what you have achieved today.

Jul 23, 2014 13:38 PM
rating: 2
 
jfmoguls

I totally agree on the quality of this TA. As someone who checks Hacking Mass daily, I couldn't believe Yuniesky Betancourt came up in that Headley stages of life thing. Hilarious.

Jul 23, 2014 20:03 PM
rating: 1
 
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