Indians Trade Target: Chase Headley

SAN DIEGO, CA - Chase Headley #7 of the San Diego Padres watches the ball after making contact in the 8th inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Petco Park on July 16, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)

One in a series of articles previewing the upcoming trade deadline. Previous entries:

An argument to make a trade | Valuing Cleveland's Tradable Assets

Trade Targets: Carlos Quentin | Ryan Dempster

Next up in the Showcase Showdown: Chase Headley, switch-hitting 3B-OF for the San Diego Padres. Professional insider Jon Heyman is just one of the writers indicating that the Indians have interest in Headley.

Overview

Headley was a second-round draft pick of the Padres in 2005 coming out of the Univerity of Tennessee and was fast tracked to the bigs, getting his first cup of coffee with the Padres in 2007 after destroying AA. He didn't stick until 2009, playing left field while LGFT Kevin Kouzmanoff held down third. Kouzmanoff was dealt in the offseason (with Eric Sogard for Scott Hairston and (wait for it.......Aaron Cunningham!)), primarily to make room at third base for Headley.

In his age 28 season, Headley is having his best season, with an OPS+ of 123, which would tie him for second on the Indians with Travis Hafner, trailing only Choo (143).

And now the numbers:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2007 23 SDP NL 8 21 18 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 .222 .333 .278 .611 68 5 2 1 0 0 0 /5
2008 24 SDP NL 91 368 331 34 89 19 2 9 38 4 1 30 104 .269 .337 .420 .757 110 139 5 5 0 2 1 7/5
2009 25 SDP NL 156 612 543 62 142 31 2 12 64 10 2 62 133 .262 .342 .392 .734 102 213 19 5 0 2 3 *75/D3
2010 26 SDP NL 161 674 610 77 161 29 3 11 58 17 5 56 139 .264 .327 .375 .702 97 229 11 3 1 4 3 *5
2011 27 SDP NL 113 439 381 43 110 28 1 4 44 13 2 52 92 .289 .374 .399 .773 121 152 6 2 1 3 8 5
2012 28 SDP NL 90 387 331 41 88 20 1 10 45 10 4 51 92 .266 .364 .423 .787 123 140 5 2 0 3 1 *5/3
6 Yrs 619 2501 2214 258 594 128 9 46 249 54 14 253 564 .268 .346 .397 .743 108 878 48 18 2 14 16
162 Game Avg. 162 655 579 68 155 33 2 12 65 14 4 66 148 .268 .346 .397 .743 108 230 13 5 1 4 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/17/2012.

There are two sets of additional splits worth considering for Headley. The first is his platoon splits for 2012:

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
vs RHP as LHB 84 264 219 59 14 1 5 26 10 2 42 68 .269 .390 .411 .801 90 2 2 0 1 1 3 .367 104 115
vs LHP as RHB 56 120 109 29 6 0 5 19 0 2 9 23 .266 .317 .459 .775 50 3 0 0 2 0 1 .289 96 106
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/17/2012.

The second, and the reason why a lot of people think he'd be better off playing somewhere else, is his home and away splits for 2012:

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
Home 45 45 194 166 15 42 10 0 2 19 2 2 24 49 .253 .351 .349 .700 58 3 2 0 2 0 3 .342 79 91
Away 45 43 193 165 26 46 10 1 8 26 8 2 27 43 .279 .378 .497 .875 82 2 0 0 1 1 1 .330 121 146
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/17/2012

Jedd Gyorko, a 23-year-old 3b has been slugging in Tucson, making Headley expendable.

Contract Status

Currently making $3.475 million and under team control through 2014.

Roster Fit

He could fit in either at 3B, especially with Chisenhall essentially done for the season, which would likely limit both Hannahan's and Lopez' playing time. He could also play left field, plugging that gaping sinkhole and making Johnny Damon expendable. Or, he could do some of both, rotating between the two. He would also likely make Chisenhall offseason trade bait.

Estimated Cost

I see no reason to peg the cost much differently than what Ryan estimated that Quentin would cost:

RHP Jeanmar Gomez OR Zach McAllister

-or-

LHP Scott Barnes AND RHP Cody Allen

San Diego needs pitching - I mean for crying out loud they've given Kip Wells starts this year. We might find some interest in moving Huff in this deal - he's the kind of fly ball pitcher who could thrive in Petco. Headley will likely bring a good haul for the Padres - he plays a difficult position and he will be under team control for two more full seasons after this one.

In dealing with San Diego, one must remember that the ownership of the franchise right now is up in the air. MLB owners will meet on August 16 to consider a new ownership group for the team. It might not be in the best interest of the franchise to be seen selling off popular players for yet another rebuild just before new ownership takes over.

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