Tuesday the New York Yankees made a move to solidify their infield by trading for the San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley. The Padres received infielder Yangervis Solarte and pitching prospect Rafael De Paula. The Padres will also reportedly send $1 million to pay for the $4 million left on Headley’s $10.53 million 2014 salary, according to CBSSport’s Jon Heyman.
Headley will be a free agent after this season and the Toronto Blue Jays were the only other team known to be in the mix for Headley, though there are quite a few other teams in need of infield help.
According to Heyman, the Padres offered Headley $33 million for three-years over the off-season, which he rejected. This was most-likely not the best thing for Headley to do as his value has seriously decreased going into free agency.
In the second half of 2012 Headley led the National League in RBI. He batted .286 that year with 31 home runs and 115 RBI but his numbers have since come way down. He is currently hitting just .229 with seven home runs and only 32 RBI through the first half of this season.
The Yankees can afford to take a risk on Headley, especially since he is a free agent at the end of the season and they don’t even have to extend him a qualifying offer. He will come in handy for them in the second half of 2014 being better at the position that was vacated by Alex Rodriguez than either Kelly Johnson or Zelous Wheeler. A-Rod’s return in 2015 is not guaranteed but if Headley doesn’t work out, they will have a good chance at finding another replacement during the off season.
Solarte, still in his rookie season at age 27, has played in 75 games for the Yankees and batted .254 with 32 RBI. Pitching prospect De Paula, 23, has spent the season at Single-A Tampa and is 6-5 on the year with a 4.15 ERA.