Months of speculation here at Dodgers Rumors about putting Chase Headley into Dodger Blue. Two weeks ago the Padres agreed to a one-year $8.575MM deal with Headley avoiding arbitration. Most fans and MLB execs expected the Padres to work hard to lock up Headley in a multi-year extension this winter. Though that hasn’t worked out very well at all. San Diego GM Josh Byrnes recently said that two sides had tabled extension talks due to the large gap between both parties. Clearly Byrnes is delusional if he thinks Headley is willing to take a discount to stay in San Diego. Not with teams like the Dodgers, Braves, Red Sox , Yankees, Angels, Mariners, Pirates, and probably a few more 3B needy teams out there.
Headley, due to hit free agency after the 2014 season, would instantly become one of the richest players in baseball on the open market. After putting off extension talks the Padres should explore trading Headley before the start of the 2013 season. Headley’s trade value is at its peak right now, plus with all the potential suitors, the time to trade Headley is now.
I still feel Headley is one of the most underrated players in the game. In 2012, Headley batted .286/.376/.498/ with 31 home runs, 115 RBI, and 17 stolen bases in 699 plate appearances. It was no surprise when Headley was awarded the 2012 Silver Slugger trophy. I tend to think he could improve those numbers outside Petco Park, especially inside Dodger Stadium where over his career he has hit .333/.404/.551, with 12 doubles, 23 RBI, and six home runs in 156 plate appearances.
Headley, 28, also won a well deserved Gold Glove in 2012. It’s no secret the Dodgers’ infield needs to get better defensively in 2013. It’s a no-brainer that Headley would be a huge step in the right direction. Headley had a WAR of 6 in 2012, yes please! In comparison, Luis Cruz had a WAR of 2.2 and Hanley Ramirez had a WAR of 3.0. Yep, that’s right, Headley’s WAR is higher than both Cruz and Hanley combined. Ponder that if you will.
The Padres have a lot of needs, the Dodgers have a lot of moveable pieces. Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Luis Cruz, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang are some of the more obvious major league options. Then the Dodgers have some minor league bullpen arms that could be made available, and of course the Dodgers have some great young pitching talent. Guys like Zach Lee, Onelki Garcia, Chris Withrow, and Chris Reed are just a handful of the many names the Dodgers could use to lure Headley away from San Diego.
Dee Gordon is expendable at this point, I hate to give up on him, but Chase Headley is one of the very few that is worth trading Gordon away. Guerra is expendable, he’s lost his mojo in Los Angeles, and I think a change of scenery might help him get it back. The Dodgers have some young arms I would like to see in 2013, not too mention our bullpen is already overcrowded. Lee and Pederson, yep it’s going to take two of our top ten prospects to pull off the deal, and these two just make the most sense. Withrow, well, the Padres need pitching, and the Dodgers have a surplus, so I just basically looked at all the names and pointed to one on my screen. The question is…would you pull the trigger?