Olney On Headley, Rangers, Branyan

The Padres’ most sought-after player may not be Huston Street or Carlos Quentin, Buster Olney writes in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are the details from Olney:

  • Chase Headley could be the most coveted player of the summer, Olney writes. The 28-year-old third baseman has a .372 on-base percentage, earns just $3.48MM this year and has two years of team control remaining after 2012. Some rival evaluators expect Headley’s power numbers would improve if he played at a more hitter-friendly park in a more potent lineup, Olney writes.
  • The Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks are among the teams believed to have some interest in Headley, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported yesterday. 
  • The Phillies haven’t decided to trade Cole Hamels, but the Rangers are already viewed as favorites to acquire the left-hander should Philadelphia make him available.
  • The Dodgers could consider Russell Branyan, Olney suggests. Branyan, who has 194 career MLB home runs, has 11 homers and a .302/.436/.660 batting line in 133 plate appearances for the Yankees' Triple-A team this year.

85 Responses to Olney On Headley, Rangers, Branyan Leave a Reply

  1.  “Some rival evaluators expect Headley’s power numbers would improve if he
    played at a more hitter-friendly park in a more potent lineup,”


  2. Jorden 3 years ago

     NO THANKS on Russell Branyan.

  3. Dylan 3 years ago

    As long as Amaro doesn’t come out and say “we want to trade Hamels,” and play the “We feel like we can resign him and he wants to be here” card, the return he would get if they do eventually trade him could turn the club around next year.

    I still don’t see them trading him without getting a future 3B AND CF that are both ready for next year, plus an arm that could project as a strong reliever. Even if they trade him, I expect Amaro to still try and sign him (probably won’t be successful) in the offseason.

    I think the plan is to go with Brown and the two prospects (if he trades Cole) next year in an attempt to lower the payroll. They could even extend Pence for 5-6 years as well.

    If they don’t trade him, I think he will def. be resigned. I just can’t see the Phillies (being 13 games back) letting him walk for picks.

    •  Rangers could offer the best prospect who is blocked in Olt, who also plays 3rd. They also have several CF prospects. MY guess is that if he is traded he goes to the Rangers.

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        If they would offer Olt, L Martin, and a pitcher that is in their top 10-15, I think it’d be a done deal.

  4. Andrew Burdick 3 years ago

    Any player is available for the right price.  Texas just needs to call with the right players from their end.

  5. BK 3 years ago

    Am I crazy or has Texas been the favorite to acquire every player for the past 3 years?

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      They Have a stellar farm, and have been in contention. Since they let cj walk they could really use another ace

      • monkeydung 3 years ago

        since they let CJ walk and replaced him with Yu Darvish you mean?

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          Dervish has not been ace like. Wilson was dominant when he was playing for texas and has been even better in la. I think it will be hard for Texas to hold on if haren and Santana ever turn it around. Especially now that the Angels lineup is clicking.

          • Mark Ludwig 3 years ago

            Yu Darvish has been better than CJ Wilson this season. Darvish has been worth 2.2 fWAR and has a 3.69 xFIP while averaging 6.1 IP/start in 16 starts. Wilson has been worth 2 fWAR and has a 4.11 xFIP while averaging 6 IP/start in 17 starts…

            so there’s that…

          • Thizzie 3 years ago

            CJ was good in Texas but not dominant, he isn’t CC or Price or an ace of any kind.  Everybody in Texas is glad he’s gone, players and fans.  No doubt they could use an ace, seems like they have a staff of #2 & 3’s tho.  I actually thought Neftali might form into the ace but he’s too inconsitent and now hurt…  Funny the guy posted earlier that if they incluede Olt, Martin and a topr 10 minor league pitcher that would get a Hamels rental, seems like that haul should get you an ace that is controllable.

          • 2010ALChamps 3 years ago

            You gotta be kidding us about Darvish not being Ace-like.  117K’s in 102 innings. Have you actually watched the guy pitch and seen the movement his pitches has.  Guy can get a strikeout at any time.

          • Plus this is his “rookie” season. Darvish will get better over the next two years. Now, will he nose dive like the rest of Japanese pitching? Perhaps. He does have the mechanics that Nomo, Matsuzaka, or the rest lacked, so perhaps he will miss the “bug.” Here’s hoping.

  6. Ron Loreski 3 years ago

    I don’t understand why the Pirates are linked to Headley. They have no intention on moving Pedro Alvarez to any other position, and Headley is an above average 3b and below average OF. Sometimes I’d like to know who these sources are.

    • Ron Loreski 3 years ago

      Unless Headley can play shortstop, he does not upgrade the Pirates in any way.

      • Amish_willy 3 years ago

        It just depends if your in the group that thinks Alvarez is a faberge egg that would crack if they moved him to 1b, where the team is getting a terrible line of .243/.303/.395 (82 OPS+). I doubt he’d see much if any increase in miscues making the switch considering he’s an error prone 3b as it is.

        • bigpat 3 years ago

           McGahee and Jones are each hitting very well this past month at 1B, so it’s not that much of a weakness right now. Jones can always shift over to RF but McGahee can still hit as well. He’s been one of the only Pirates hitters with a great approach at the plate all year long, even when he wasn’t hitting, and it’s paying off now.

          I also think Alvarez is playing very good D at third, but I’d love to squeeze Headley’s bat in here somewhere, just not sure how. Quentin would be the fit I believe.

          • Ron Loreski 3 years ago

            Headley has done nothing in his career to make me desire his name in the line up. Yes he plays in a pitchers park, but his road numbers don’t exactly blow me away.

          • Amish_willy 3 years ago

            You’re hard to please. If you look at how all the 3b in the game have faired away from their home parks since 2010 you get the following numbers:
            Longoria – 134
            Wright – 132
            Headley – 131
            Beltre – 121
            Zimmerman -121

            Pretty good, no?

        • Ron Loreski 3 years ago

          Down the road, yes I see Alvarez as a firstbaseman. But considering he has no proffesional experince there, I don’t see the Pirates making that move in the middle of a pennant race. That’s not the time to experiment.

  7. ThinkBlue10 3 years ago

    Headley is not worth our top prospects….

    • monkeydung 3 years ago

      disagree. Kemp & Ethier need help. We can’t rely on the Ellis brothers to be the third and fourth best hitters if we want to contend.

      By WAR, since 2010 Headley has been the third best at 3B and his numbers at Dodger Stadium (small sample size of 127 PA, but still) have been stellar.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        Some humorless person is bound to tell you that AJ and Mark are not brothers, so let’s get that over before it starts. I’m not sure that an over reliance on Kemp and Ethier in the middle of the lineup translate into the Dodgers needing to give up a huge ransom to get Headley. I can see a sturdy starting pitcher with some upside and under team control, such as Eovaldi, but not a couple of first-rounders as has been suggested. The problem is that Eovaldi can’t be traded unless the Dodgers acquire another starter somewhere since Lilly appears to be out for a long time.

        • Amish_willy 3 years ago

          “I can see a sturdy starting pitcher with some upside and under team control, such as Eovaldi, but not a couple of first-rounders as has been suggested.”

          I’d suggest moving on to the next target, whomever that may be. Trades have to make sense for both teams, and players like Headley, who according fWAR was a 5 win player in 2010, on pace for 4 wins in ’10 before his injury, and 6 wins this year, don’t get dealt to division rivals at bargain prices.

          With all the Padres bad luck in the injury department on “sturdy starting pitcher with some upside and under team control”, your probably expecting too much from the wrong team.

          Guys with good, not great numbers in the minors are nice and all, but when your talking about an established 4-5 win player under team control for 2+ years, it’s going to be costly. I love the idea of Colleti getting Headley cheaper then Casey Blake two months before he was a free agent.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

            Arguments based on WAR get no traction with me. All of that aside, trading a major league player under team control for another is the kind of deal that could actually happen. Eovaldi isn’t even arbitration eligible yet, so he’s a low budget option. I don’t get what you are saying about San Diego being the “wrong team” for a starting pitching trade, since inexpensive starting pitching is exactly what they need. The fly in the ointment is that the Dodgers can’t let Eovaldi go right now.

        • monkeydung 3 years ago

          1. yeah i know they aren’t brothers
          2. i think it’s clear over the past couple of weeks that we absolutely do need to give them support.
          3. 3B & 1B are our two weakest positions at pretty much every level, and there are not going to be any decent 3B FA in the off season
          4. dude is under control for the next 2.5 seasons – this isn’t a rental
          5. to be clear, i would not want to trade Lee for Lowrie, but i would certainly take Headley

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

            I’m sure you do. I got browbeaten a few days ago for joking about the “Lee brothers.” Just trying to stop that before it happens again. I understand the team’s need and Headley’s contract status, but then again the price can still be too tall.

  8. drumzalicious 3 years ago

    Headley would actually be a good fit for the Phillies since they have no one worth mentioning at 3B. With him under control for a few more years it helps them get younger but still compete

    Would also be nice if the Braves found a taker for Dan Uggla and acquired him

  9. If the Rangers are to acquire Cole Hamels, how about a package centered around Jorge Alfaro, a single-A catcher the Phillies can groom to replace Carlos Ruiz in a few years?  Maybe Alfaro and a close to ready pitching prospect gets it done.  Giving up Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt isn’t worth a two-month rental.

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      Not even close. Phillies have Valle as their future catcher and Rupp in single A. It’d have to be centered around Mike Olt or the phillies aren’t listening

    • bergeraj 3 years ago

      Alfaro is a nice piece but not enough for Philly to trade Hamels.  It will take 2 TOP 10 prospects and at least 2 more top 30 guys with upside with maybe 1 MiLB filler.

      Due to the new CBA trades will only affect players that will not EARN in the top 125 next year.  If Tex did trade for Hamels it will be a hard pill to swallow because there is no compensation for them but Philly has to get what they will lose in next years draft.  Which is 2 additional picks in the top 60 and near $2mil in draft pool cash! (Sry the second additional pick doesnt start till 2013 so Philly only stands to get 1 pick)

  10. Gumby65 3 years ago

    Russell Branyon? wow Buster…..

  11. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    Branyan Branyan Branyan! Russell the Muscle on the Dodgers would be ….. Legendary. 

  12. The Rangers need hitting.  They have 4 good starters coming off of the DL within the next 2-3 weeks or so in Holland, Ogando, Lewis and Feliz.  With Michael Young and Napoli hitting so poorly this year they need more hitting.  It would make no sense for them to trade top prospects for pitching.  This isn’t the 2010 Rangers who were starved for a top quality starter.

  13. billmedley 3 years ago

    If obtained by the Dodgers before or after the break and given the opportunity to play that’s been given to Loney[2 homers,23 ribs in 230 at bats]Russell the Muscle will give L.A.some power at 1st.Not the 125 at bats he got last year with the Angels&Diamondbacks.

  14. Fizzzay 3 years ago

    Someone rescue Branyan from AAA.  

  15. Beersy 3 years ago

    So from what I’m reading here, the Rangers should be ready and willing to give up the #2 prospect in baseball(Profar) for two months of Hamels, but the #27 prospect(Hamilton) is off limits from the Reds to the Padres for two and a half years of Headley.  What am I missing here?  I see alot of people above talking down Headley, but in GABP hitting either in front or behind Votto he would be amazing.  Hamilton is at single A and is no sure bet to make it to the bigs, let alone be a star.  If the Reds don’t at least think about dealing Hamilton I think they are hurting themselves.

  16. Dodgerbluez 3 years ago

    Sorry Chase does not get Zach Lee.. What is all the extra hype on him any way? Great defender. Good OBP. Career .269 hitter who has now been in the Bigs for 5 years very little power. If he “needs” to be in a hitter friendly park to be successful then Dodger Stadium isnt a right fit either. 

  17. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

     Chase Headley could get the Padres quite a haul.  Let’s see-there’s probably about 6 teams who are set and happy with their third baseman.  Even non contending teams could be looking at Headley since he’s still got years of control left.  Wouldn’t he look especially good on the Reds, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Braves (to cover for Chipper’s next injury and beyond), Indians, Rockies, Phillies….the list goes on and on. 

  18. LazerTown 3 years ago

    But I really don’t see him being an upgrade for a lot of teams. Offensively he is nowhere near being one of the best at his position.

  19.  Weak 3B market. Terrible 2013 FA 3B class. His value is extremely high. Having said that, if the Padres can’t land an impact player/prospect, don’t move him.

  20. erm016 3 years ago

    Braves are covered at 3b with Prado and Francisco. No point in us going after him when we don’t “need” him. We need other pieces.

  21.  Check his splits. He [Headley] plays in a hitters graveyard!

  22. Dylan Ramirez 3 years ago

    And how are you quantifying this exactly? Are you just making it up? He is top 5 at his position in OBA and 6th in OPS barely trailing all star David Freese all while playing in the best pitchers park in baseball. 

  23. Ohhhplease 3 years ago

    He is an upgrade for everyone in the league other than Beltre, Wright, Zimmerman, A. Rod, and Sandoval.  Guy will hit in a neutral/hitter friendly ballpark, can steal bases and plays great D.  Pads should get a package in the range of  the Latos deal.

  24. wouldyalookatthat 3 years ago

    His offensive numbers would definately improve hitting at GABP between Votto and Bruce.

  25. Amish_willy 3 years ago

    Or his advanced metrics. His wRC+ of 129 puts him at #4 between Adrian Beltre & Aramis Ramirez. Pretty good company especially when you consider he’s making what 20-30% what those guys are making annually this year, with that number going up to about 40-50% next year.
    Very underrated player. Though that could change soon if he does relocate.

  26. YODA777 3 years ago

    If Cinci wants him,  start with a package that includes Hamilton.  Imagine that guys speed leading off for the Padres?

  27. padresfuture 3 years ago

    Exactly right. The Padres no longer need ML ready or near ready players, they are flush with young ML average talent. The Padres will be looking for a legit improvement over an existing player or a package of prospects that have impact/elite upside…. think guys like portillo.

  28. LazerTown 3 years ago

    That is only with Zimmerman, Arod, Youkilis, Lawrie, Hanley all struggling. And without middlebrooks getting enough ab’s to qualify yet.

  29. LazerTown 3 years ago

    Why I don’t think he will move anywhere, he is nowhere near as valuable as Latos, he is 28 and is nothing more than an average 3B.

  30.  Hamilton is probably untouchable. If he’s not, he should be. He’s rated #27 (overall) by Baseball America’s updated mid-season top prospect list. No chance!

  31. wouldyalookatthat 3 years ago

    Yea, Hamilton is as untouchable as they come.  As much as I would love Headley, if the Pads were to ask for Hamilton-thats probably where talks would end.  What are the Padres needs anyways?

  32. YODA777 3 years ago

    Lee wont be enough to get Headley, and your other prospects to sweeten the deal probably would not crack the Padres top ten prospects.  I do not see the Dodgers as a trade partner.  I think Cinci matches up best with the Padres.  Adding the speedy Hamilton would improve the shortstop talent in our system, I would also include Joseph and Yorman Rodriguez and maybe an additional lower rated prospect for Headley.  Watching Hamilton steal 75+ bags as the Padre leadoff hitter would be awesome. 

  33. Ohhhplease 3 years ago

    I am sure Byrnes would love the offer, “Take Sands, he is horrible”….

  34. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

    At this point I think the real question is: why would anybody want Jerry Sands?

  35. Dylan 3 years ago

    I hear ya, but I’m saying that Amaro prob doesn’t want to move Cole, IF they offered that package, Ruben would have to pull the trigger. I’m sure they’d pay all of his remaining salary for a return like that.

  36. bergeraj 3 years ago

    There will be no eating of $$$ Cole is easily worth how much is owed plus good prospects.  I know the price is steep but if Tex wants him thats what they will have to pay.  Philly is set to gain 2 top 60 draft picks (Excluding first 10) plus all the additional Pool amount which could = around $2 Mil.

  37. Amish_willy 3 years ago

    Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Headley gets little respect from a chunk of the fans on various teams. He very well could have around a .400 obp this year AND last year if he wasn’t in SD.

    When the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence last year they gave up 3 of their top 10 prospects for him. Both guys are under the same amount of control with Headley cheaper in salary (Thanks Petco), but Headley out performed Pence when looking at each player’s road numbers. Package wise, that’s probably what it would take to get Headley. Sorry Dodger fans. If Eovaldi = Cosart (in ’11), who are the other pieces to be included?

    Yeah, defensively or offensively, Headley is above average. Factor in his expected salaries over the next two years (a lot cheaper then Pence due to different home parks), there aren’t many more valuable 3b in the game than Headley.

  38. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

    If you ask me, there’s entirely too much fantasy in baseball today. Way too many armchair GMs building “teams” on paper. If we’d have listened to some of those people, Sands would have been starting at first this year. Gerald may be something someday, but not now, and he’s running out of time.

  39. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Yes, but what he provides with his glove and bat is exactly what we need. Leave Prado in LF – where he should be, honestly – and bring someone with better 3B defense, has more pop (less AVG), and is affordable. Headley is what we want Terdoslavich to grow into.

  40. Amish_willy 3 years ago

    Since 2010, his 815 OPS on the road is 4th best in the game amongst 3b. Saying his performance this year is because of the above reasons does little for me. Youk is way past his prime, Lawrie was a rookie last year that hit the ground running, despite probably being at a unsustainable level. Zimm has a 814 OPS over that time, and Arod is on the downslope. Hanley has been his elite self for a couple of years now.

  41. Mark Ludwig 3 years ago

    Ryan Zimmerman hasn’t been RYAN ZIMMERMAN since 2010, same thing goes for HanRam. A-Rod and Youk are both older than Greg Oden looks which means you can’t really count on them to be the same players they were in 2004. Lawrie is simply a young guy with no real track record. People assume that Lawrie was simply going to coast to the Hall of Fame because he was great in his first 150 AB’s. He was almost as good as Craig Wilson was for the Pirates and I don’t expect him to get many HOF votes unless somebody just LOVES pinch-hit home runs. You can’t say that he wouldn’t rank as high if these guys were playing better, especially since (as we sit here today) there’s a very real chance that Headley is just a better player than these guys…

  42. Thizzie 3 years ago

    That’s why these metric systems are crazy, Beltre is flat out amazing in every sense of the game and Headley is very average or below with his skill set.  The metric system may say one thing but he is not in the same class as Beltre in any way.

  43. Ohhhplease 3 years ago

    You could not be anymore wrong.  Lazertown’s public schols have failed you.

  44. bergeraj 3 years ago

     I really do agree with you, it will take a team that NEEDS Hamels to offer up a top package and it will be up to the other contending teams to step up or let him go to someone else. Tex is just being thrown around so much because they have the system and the players that best fit Philly. 

  45. YODA777 3 years ago

    The Pads farm system is loaded with pitching, catching, and corner infielders. The Pads really need elite SS prospects. I wonder if the Pads were to widen the deal somehow to get Hamilton. The reds already have another SS prospect at AA as well as a half way decent SS at the MLB level.

  46. wouldyalookatthat 3 years ago

    The thing is, with Cozart in place at SS the plan seems to be to move Hamilton to the OF (most likely CF).  He really is untouchable, there’s too much hype and excitement for him.  That being the case, based upon your needs Gregorious, LaMarre, Henry Rodriguez might be of interest for the Pads. I just don’t see any combination of them and maybe a pitching prospect being enough though.

  47. briankoke 3 years ago

    The Padres system is loaded with pitching, but their best and closest pitching prospects have major injury concerns.  Wieland, Erlin, and Kelly could end up having Tommy John surgery before the year is over.  Luebke and Oramas already had the surgery.  Bass has shoulder issues.  Stauffer is out with a strained elbow.  They might be looking for pitching harder than position players at this point.  

  48. Hamilton is as untouchable as it gets even for Headley. I’d give you Gregorius, Sulbaran and Yorman though.

  49. briankoke 3 years ago

    What you fail to realize is the difference between playing in Arlington and playing in Petco.  That’s what these advanced metrics show.  I’m not crazy about these advanced metrics either, but you don’t need them to gauge what kind of player Headley is.  Simply look at what he has done in his career away from Petco.  He’s a career .299/.366/.445/.811 away from Petco.  That is the real Chase Headley.  Petco makes Headley seem a whole lot more average than he really is.  He’s a career .235/.327/.340/.667 in Petco.  Get this guy out of Petco and he is on that level.  You can’t take such a simplistic approach to evaluating a players worth.  You have to look at the big picture.  Chase is a good hitter, but he does so much more than that.  He’s an extremely good defensive 3B.  He’s also a good baserunner, and great person.  He’s just entering his prime, he’s cheap, and controllable. He’s one of the best at his position in baseball.

  50. Amish_willy 3 years ago

    I love Beltre, he’s one of the best 3b in the game. They are two very different ballplayers playing in extreme opposite environments. Both have plus gloves. Headley would probably be a 20 hr bat playing in Arlington. Headley would hit for a comparable average, walk a ton more (17 vs. 50 in ’12), steal a lot more bases, hit into a lot fewer double plays, etc. which all plays into the difference in longballs/ISO. 
    According to Fangraphs, Beltre is #1 in WAR since 2010 amongst 3b, Headley is #3 (15.4 vs. 11.1) so the gap is there over that time period.
    Over that period their road lines look like:
    Beltre –    .301/.336/.513 (.849 ops)
    Headley-   .298/.364/.451 (.815 ops)
    Don’t agree at all with Headley being average or below with his skillset. It’s just a lot different then Beltre’s.

  51. 2010ALChamps 3 years ago

    And what were CJ’s stats in the playoffs last year since were looking at the whole picture.

  52. Dylan 3 years ago

    Phillies won’t ask for Profar…it’d be Olt and Martin

  53. YODA777 3 years ago

    Who would be more valuable to the Reds: Hamilton in CF or Headley at 3b? Headley hits 20 hr’s a year with a batting average north of 300 playing half of his games in Cinci while playing above average defense at 3b. The Padres do not need to trade Headley, its just that they have Gyroko who plays 3b at AAA. The Padres could easily move Gyroko to 2b. Besides, Hamilton is still a Single A prospect while Headley is an all-star caliber 3b at the MLB level; moreover, a lot can happen between Single A ball and the big leagues. If I were the Reds, I make that deal big time.

  54. Trust me I’d love to have Headley and I’m scared the Pirates might get him and stay in first but I’m sure if the Reds wanted him he could be had without including Hamilton. I’d even do Henry Rodriguez who Griffey Sr said is our best hitter in the minors.

  55. 2010ALChamps 3 years ago

    Just wait till the big games happen 1-5 4.82 ERA in 9 postseason games.  CJ is not a big game pitcher and hes gonna fit in well with the Angels since they can’t even make it to the big games.

  56. YODA777 3 years ago

    A major issue with Rodriguez is that he plays 2b, the Padres are all set in the minors at that position. The Padres already have the top rated second base prospect at high A ball, what the Padres really need is a high A shortstop and power hitting outfielders.

  57. Profar should be the closest to untouchable as it gets. Olt…maybe pending on how sure the Rangers could work out an extension. But Rangers fans have to remember…resigning Hamels/Grenkie/or any other top teir pitcher means see you later Hamilton.

  58. bergeraj 3 years ago

     No expectations at all, just what I think it will take for Ruben to trade Hamels, I do believe he does not want to trade him but will for the RIGHT trade….  I truly think they would rather hold onto him through the year and continue to negotiate on an extension….  He will not be given away!

  59. Robb Logan 3 years ago

    Your just as delusional if you don’t think the Phils will ask for one and probably both Profar/Olt. It will take a package such as that to land an established number 1 starter even if it is just a rental.

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