Sep 22, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) hits a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The trade rumors about free agent third baseman Chase Headley have been swirling lately, and rumor has it the Indians have some interest. Well, after trade talks for Kris Bryant fell through in the FanSided Faux-Winter Meetings simulation fell through, we had a great deal of interest in signing Headley, too.
Headley is a bit of an enigma. He enjoyed what seemed to be a breakout season in 2012 when he hit 31 homers and put up a .286/.376/.498 slash line while playing half of his games at the pitcher-friendly PetCo Park. According to www.fangraphs.com, he was worth 7.2 wins above replacement that year. However, he hasn’t even come close to repeating those numbers since. During his career, he has posted an Ultimate Zone rating as high as 28 in a season (2014), or as low as -6.4 (2011). The simple fact is, Chase Headley is a solid player, but you have no idea what to expect from him coming into 2015.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, Lonnie Chisenhall doesn’t seem to be the long-term answer at third base. His infield defense really hurt the Tribe last year, and his bat wasn’t good enough to cover it. However, Headley would provide a veteran bat with 30-homer power potential, as well as a 13 Defensive Runs Saved/28 UZR defensive upside. To put things in perspective, Chisenhall was rated as having a -15 UZR with -14 DRS in 2014, and has never hit more than 13 home runs in a season. Furthermore, Headley can hit from both sides of the plate, making him a valuable protection bat in the middle of the order.
Ultimately, however, we were unwilling to give Headley more than three years and $40 million. The fact that he wasn’t tied to draft pick compensation was a plus, but it just seemed too risky for a small-market team to give a fourth year to a third baseman on the wrong side of 30 who has dealt with injuries and inconsistency throughout his career. The high-payroll Philadelphia Phillies were able to swoop in and grab the third baseman for four years and $50 million.
Do you think we should have offered Headley more than $50 million over four years? We encourage you to comment below, or tweet us at @wahoosonfirst