Yankees Acquire Chase Headley

The Yankees announced that they have officially acquired Chase Headley from the Padres. The Yankees will send Yangervis Solarte and minor league right-hander Rafael De Paula to the Padres in return for Headley and $1MM.

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Headley, a lifetime member of the Padres, is hitting just .229/.296/.355 with seven homers this season, though he’s playing outstanding defense at third base, per both UZR/150 (+19.7) and Defensive Runs Saved (+7). Headley is earning $10.535MM in 2014, of which $3.97MM remains. He is eligible for free agency following the season.

The Yankees are just four games out of the division lead in the AL East and two and a half games back of a Wild Card berth, meaning every additional win the team picks up could be crucial. Yankees third basemen are hitting .245/.323/.391 on the season with 14 home runs (which translates to a nearly league-average 98 wRC+). However, much of that is due to what looks to have been an unsustainable hot streak for Solarte early in the season. The 27-year-old Solarte had a scorching hot month of April (fueled by a .349 BABIP), but he’s batted just .233/.307/.347 in 200 plate appearances since that time. If nothing else, Headley’s glove may provide an extra win over the rest of the season, but the hope is undoubtedly that a move from the pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium will rejuvenate his bat as well.

It’s not long ago that Headley looked to be a breakout star. He batted a whopping .286/.376/.498 with 31 homers to go along with elite defense and solid baserunning in 2012, but since that time he’s been slowed by a fractured thumb, a calf strain and a herniated disc in his back (for which he received an epidural injection earlier this month). He’s hitting .323 with a homer, a triple and four doubles this month, so perhaps the injection helped to ease some of the pain he was experiencing. However, he’s yet to walk in July and has struck out 16 times, so his approach at the plate certainly doesn’t appear to be what it was in 2012 when he posted a career-best 12.3 percent walk rate.

From a big picture standpoint, the move signifies that the Yankees, in typical fashion, will maintain a dogged pursuit of the postseason. Despite losing CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and potentially Masahiro Tanaka for the season (with Michael Pineda missing the majority of the year as well), the Yankees feel they have a shot to contend in an abnormally weak AL East. The team has already acquired Brandon McCarthy (in exchange for lefty Vidal Nuno), and it seems likely that GM Brian Cashman will continue to be aggressive as he looks to upgrade his roster.

For the Padres, it’s tough to describe the outcome as anything but disappointing. Headley looked to be on the verge of stardom following the 2012 season, and they could likely have netted a king’s ransom had they moved him then. Even this offseason, Headley’s value coming off a .250/.347/.400 season with excellent defense would have been fairly strong. Now, they’ll receive a player whom the Yankees signed to a minor league deal this offseason (Solarte) and a pitcher that ranked 15th in a weak Yankees farm system coming into the year (per Baseball America). At this point, however, it has to be considered a silver lining for the Friars that they weren’t able to extend Headley — either with the reported franchise-record deal they were weighing last spring or the three-year, $33-39MM deal they offered over the winter.

Solarte is hitting .254/.337/.381 with the Yankees this season, though much of that production came in the aforementioned April hot streak. The Padres can control him for six years, as he made his big league debut this year, and he’s appeared at second base, third base and shortstop this season. Ideally, he could settle into a utility role for San Diego for the next several seasons.

De Paula, 23, has a 4.15 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 89 innings (17 starts, three relief appearances) at Class-A Advanced Tampa this season. Baseball America noted in its scouting report that De Paula’s mid- to upper-90s fastball was enough to dominate hitters in Low Class A, but he struggled with last year’s debut in High-A Tampa due to an inability to throw his breaking pitches for strikes. He’s made some strides in his command this year, averaging fewer walks. BA noted that if he could learn to command either his slider or changeup, that would be enough to pair with his plus fastball to project as a big league reliever, but if he could learn to command both, he could start in the bigs.

De Paula doesn’t come without personal baggage, as BA’s Ben Badler notes (on Twitter). Badler says De Paula “will be a big leaguer,” but points out that he’s used multiple falsified identities and dates of birth in his road to professional baseball.

Jack Curry of the YES Network first tweeted that the two sides were close to a deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the trade was done and added the terms shortly thereafter (Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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341 Comments on "Yankees Acquire Chase Headley"


Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

That was a cheap improvement for NYY. Headley isn’t an impact bat but hes a improvement over their current options.

rct
1 year 1 month ago

Have they improved that much? Genuinely asking. I mean, if Headley plays anything like he did a few years ago, it’s a definite improvement. But this year, Headley and Solarte aren’t that far apart in WAR and Solarte is still a rookie (albeit an older one).

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

Except Solarte’s WAR was based on his hot start in April and May. Had he been allowed to continue playing through his June/July slump (.164/.282/.213) his WAR would have quickly dropped. Headley on the other hand has been hitting much better since slumping badly to begin the season.

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 1 month ago

Solarte’s value died out at the end of may, at least Headley has the chance of being less bad more consistently. He’s also better with the glove.

RyanWKrol
1 year 1 month ago

Pointless.

Disqus0011a
1 year 1 month ago

Already he’s gotten them one win. Unless he plays to a negative war the rest of the season the trade has already paid dividends.

Douglas Rau
1 year 1 month ago

The glove’s a big part of it. The Yankees infield defense has been atrocious this season and now they have two ground ball pitchers in their current rotation, with Brandon McCarthy and Shane Greene. For that reason alone, Headley should help. And if he doesn’t hit, well, then he’ll fit right in with Kelly Johnson.

1 year 1 month ago

Fair price I suppose.

Ben_Cherington
1 year 1 month ago

Can he pitch?
-Brian Cashman

Looking forward to see what Headley can do with a change of scenery.

ROR1997
1 year 1 month ago

Only 3 years late too!

NomarGarciaparra
1 year 1 month ago

Imagine how lopsided the trade potentially would’ve turned out had Headley been traded for a trio of solid prospects in 2012. Of course, Headley might’ve played better elsewhere and the prospects might’ve failed miserably…who knows.

Dave
1 year 1 month ago

umm. typo here. The Yankees have acquired Chase Headley from the Yankees. Whaaaa?

DippityDoo
1 year 1 month ago

3 team deal?

Karkat
1 year 1 month ago

The third team is also the Yankees

DamonH
1 year 1 month ago

next big deal: Yankees have acquired the San Diego Padres organization for a player to be named later

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 1 month ago

Y-you’re c-crazy, the Yankees never go in-house for a solution!!

jjs91
1 year 1 month ago

The Yankees should learn to never deal with the Yankees, they overhype themselves.

disadvantage
1 year 1 month ago

I really hope the Yankees get to keep Derek Jeter in that deal.

Douglas Rau
1 year 1 month ago

Nope, sorry, from what I hearing, Jeter’s going to the Yankees in the deal.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 1 month ago

Are Solarte and DePaula any good? Curious to find out.

1 year 1 month ago

Solarte had a decent ML streak for a little while and then went cold.

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 1 month ago

Cold is an understatement.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

Is Headley any good?

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 1 month ago

I actually like Headley as a buy low. I wouldn’t have minded the Dodgers signing him this offseason if they don’t extend Hanley. Headley really crushed the ball at Dodger Stadium with the Padres.

McQueen Adams
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah I was just at game he took Kershaw deep to break up the streak. Kershaw is a MAN among boys! As a Yankee fan this is an upgrade. He came cheap and is batting well over 300 in July. So who knows? In a lineup that has protection all over the place he might find his groove. At worst he’s better than what they had offensively and definitely defensively. I like it-Now get Cliff Lee and try to catch lighting in a bottle so at the least Jeter can go out in the Playoffs….

docmilo5
1 year 1 month ago

I went and checked his splits. He walks more on the road, hits .050 points lower and has less slugging. Maybe Yankees Stadium will be good for him. Maybe not.

GOOREOS
1 year 1 month ago

I’m sure it will be marginally better.. but he played in Petco not Yosemite… this idea that a move will resurrect his career is a little extreme.

docmilo5
1 year 1 month ago

The point I was getting at was he hit better at Petco. He will be going to a better team, that may help. Still, Headley likely won’t be that good. I’m glad for the Yankees. Maybe Headley does well, the Yankees extend him and then he tanks again. I hope they sign him to 6 years.

Karkat
1 year 1 month ago

Solarte started the season showing a lot of promise and petered off a bit. But if that can be recovered he’s under contract through the 2019 season, whereas Headley walks at the end of this year. Not a bad swap for San Diego.

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 1 month ago

Solarte is a backup infielder when all is said and done, and DePaula actually has some upside as a pitcher, though he’s still in high A.

Chris
1 year 1 month ago

DePaula will likely end up as a late inning reliever with some control issues. Albeit he’s still being tried in the rotation. Good stuff. Not so good command.

disadvantage
1 year 1 month ago

No.

LazerTown
1 year 1 month ago

Visa issues for like 2 years wrecked De Paula’s development.

Douglas Rau
1 year 1 month ago

DePaula’s got some decent stuff but he’s 23 and only at High-A ball. He missed some time because it can be hard to get a visa to get into the country when you’re using a false identity (I’m serious–you can’t make this stuff up. He ACTUALLY missed development time due to that). He maybe projects long term as a reliever.

basemonkey
1 year 1 month ago

He started out very hot, but then he’s sunk into the lost look you expect from rookies. Basically pitchers are throwing him junk and he’s chasing. He hasn’t adjusted yet. Maybe he won’t? Who knows.

Light_tower_power
1 year 1 month ago

Yankees in on John Danks

lala
1 year 1 month ago

Didn’t know the Yankees could trade with themselves.

Chioakcisco
1 year 1 month ago

You know the baseball world has changed when the Padres are sending the Yankees money.

1 year 1 month ago

It’s more indicative of how little Headley is actually worth.

Douglas Rau
1 year 1 month ago

The Padres AND the Diamondbacks (for Brandon McCarthy), I believe.

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 1 month ago

Seems like a pretty poor return for the Padres. Headley isn’t having a good year but still, a career minor leaguer (solarte) and a guy pitching poorly in high a? Bad move for the Friars.

1 year 1 month ago

Headley is broken and awful.

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

Which is why I said from the start that this trade is bad for the Yankees and I’ll stand by that unless Headley has a great turnaround. For now, “Cashman Failed”. (It’s a quote that is said on Yankee blogs)

1 year 1 month ago

I agree. I wonder what the Padres wanted from the Jays.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 1 month ago

They said free Headley and the jays said take Sergio santos! The padres said nope now here we are.

disgruntledreader
1 year 1 month ago

I’ll stand by my opinion unless I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight! That’s bold.

LazerTown
1 year 1 month ago

Cashman failed at failing.

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

Cashman being Costanza

CDZ
1 year 1 month ago

I think Solarte is more than a career minor leaguer. He could easily be a bench player or a platoon guy in 1-2 years.

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 1 month ago

Solarte had one good month. He is a 27 year old “prospect” with no upside at all.

orangeoctober
1 year 1 month ago

yeah in two years? I was gonna say, he’s 27 already.

CrisE
1 year 1 month ago

Headley can’t handle the pressure of playing in San Diego. This change of scenery to New York should give him a chance to relax and find himself.

Actually, if they weren’t going to sign him then “a career minor leaguer (solarte) and a guy pitching poorly in high a” are better then a poor hitting 3B leaving for nothing. Get what you can while something is on offer. If nothing else it’s a new opportunity for Headley.

letsgogiants
1 year 1 month ago

“Headley can’t handle the pressure of playing in San Diego.”

Oh yes, because we all know New York is a much lower pressured environment than San Diego.

East Coast Bias
1 year 1 month ago

I believe your sarcasm detector is broken. Get it fixed ASAP, or you won’t survive the internet.

letsgogiants
1 year 1 month ago

It doesn’t seem like CrisE was using sarcasm. You have to realize, sarcasm is not always easy to detect on the internet, as tone of voice usually helps distinguish whether or not sarcasm was intended. Not everyone on the internet thinks the same way, and many people say stuff that should be sarcastic when they are really serious.

Also, my “sarcasm detector” is not broken. I think I can survive being on the internet…

East Coast Bias
1 year 1 month ago

Yes, I understand how sarcasm works. However, you’re still the only one that didn’t think CrisE was not using sarcasm haha. And now you’re addressing my comment seriously.

You, sir, have already lost to the internet.

no one
1 year 1 month ago

In San Diego he was one of the poster kids. In NY he’s just one of the bunch. That’s less pressure.

gaginang
1 year 1 month ago

We all know that the minute they leave San Diego, whether it be the chargers or padres, they go on to have much better success, even eventually winning a championship like a few others have done.

LazerTown
1 year 1 month ago

Disagree. It is half a year, and Headley has been pretty awful this year. The fact that they got an interesting prospect isn’t that bad for them.

Karkat
1 year 1 month ago

This would’ve been huge news about three years ago.

Goriax
1 year 1 month ago

And the best thing about this, the yankees pretty well get a guaranteed extension with the deal. Good going Alex, top of your game sir. Another player off the market. But oh wait, maybe the Jays can get Denorfia, because a bench player will really turn the tides.

1 year 1 month ago

Why would you want to extend Headley?

CDZ
1 year 1 month ago

Agreed. He is a rental for the rest of the season to fill in the infield. His bat is mediocre at best, but he can play 3rd decently.

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 1 month ago

I doubt New York would extend Headley since they have A-rod back for next season. As much as Yankees fans want to forget about him, he’s still in the picture for their future. He’s not going anywhere.

CDZ
1 year 1 month ago

Do you think A-Rod will actually be able to serve as a full-time 3B? Will the Yankees want him at that point (not just necessarily for performance reasons)? Will he stay healthy? There are a million questions with A-Rod, and while Headley definitely isn’t the answer, he could help in a pinch.

Victoria Roberts
1 year 1 month ago

The real question is, are the Yankees willing to pay ARod 20 million dollars to go away.

Edit: sorry 21 million in 2015

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 1 month ago

Even if the Yankees find some magical way of getting rid of A-rod, don’t you think Cashman would go after Hanley Ramirez to play third? Headley has been pretty mediocre the last couple seasons.

CDZ
1 year 1 month ago

I’d love to see Ramirez come over. He is an excellent player who I think could do great in Yankee Stadium. The point I’m trying to make is that pretty much the entirety of the infield (perhaps with the exception of Tex at 1B) is a big question mark next season. Its hard to imagine everything falling neatly into place and having a perfectly good 3B hanging around hoping for an extension can’t hurt.

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

Who is this perfectly good 3B hanging around the Yankees?

CDZ
1 year 1 month ago

I’m referring to Headley. He isn’t anything special, but he is better than a platoon composed of Kelly Johnson and whatever minor leaguer happens to be having a good month.

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

With Solarte only having one good month, his season has still been better than Healey as a whole. Headley is a below average player.

CDZ
1 year 1 month ago

If we are going to make arguments based on small sample sizes and short-term trends, Solarte’s numbers are basically boosted by one good month. Headley’s stuff has steadily improved since March.

CrisE
1 year 1 month ago

They’d put him at SS for a year just to have a big name transition away from Jeter.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 1 month ago

Agree. If the Yanks cut A-Rod and extend Headley, then I think its a downgrade. A-Rod is old and broken, but I still think he’s a decent bet to hit .280 and hit 20 HRs if he can stay even reasonably healthy (ie. 120 games).

Not sure that Headley can produce that.

East Coast Bias
1 year 1 month ago

This is going to sound crazy, but I’d rather have ARod than Headley.

They’re both not that good now, so why waste more money on Headley? Spend it on the rotation.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

How are the Yankees pretty well get a guaranteed extension with the deal? The Yankees have A-rod coming back next year and for better or worse he will play 3B.

Goriax
1 year 1 month ago

A-Rod isn’t coming back. Even if he does, the Yanks are signing Headley.

TheOne247
1 year 1 month ago

“The Yankees have acquired Chase Headley from the Yankees” Hope they really stuck it to themselves, make em pay!

IKnowMoreThanYou
1 year 1 month ago

DePaula has a live arm but hasn’t be able to put to together consistently… might make a good bullpen guy down the road, but at this point, those guys seem to be a dime a dozen coming out of the farm system.
Solarte was a nice story but headley should be an improvement, hopefully gets a boost playing for a contender and playing in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium

Expos '94 World Champs
1 year 1 month ago

Yankee fans no longer have to hear John Sterling’s annoying “SO-LAAAR-TAAAAY” homer celebration. What will the celebration for Headley be? Will he actually homer?

Karkat
1 year 1 month ago

I heard someone on the YES network once say “Never nervous Yangervis” and a part of me died that day

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 1 month ago

Sterling said that about 10 times per game, now he says “Never jealous Zelous.” Even the old woman next to him was dumbfounded.

frogbogg
1 year 1 month ago

I’m still waiting for Sterling to get the note that when a player misses a ball in the field, it is called an error, not an era.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

Headley has hit about .333 in Yankee Stadium. That short LF porch will mean lots of HR for Headley.

robbyb
1 year 1 month ago

over 45 games or so? Lets say he hits one every 4 games, that is still only 11.. and that seems unrealistic…

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

4-12 in 3 games isn’t enough of a sample size to say one way or another. It’s also different playing for the Yankees. Over the years several good players have gone to the Yankees and succumbed to the pressures of playing in New York.

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

What an absolutely terrible trade for the Yankees.

Solarte – .254/.337.381, wRC+ of 100, cost controlled for 6 years
Headley – .229/.296/.355, wRC+ of 88, free agent in 3+ months

Not to mention a pretty decent minor league pitcher too.

Padres hosed the Yankees and they don’t even have a GM yet

EDIT – A pitcher who has done pretty decent in the minors. Fixed.

Eric Droegemeier
1 year 1 month ago

If De Paula is considered a “pretty decent minor league pitcher” then My God, the Yankees have low standards.

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

I should have said a guy who has done pretty decent in the minors.

My point still stands, this is an awful trade for NY

Jesus Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago

decent might not even get you to the majors

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

Pretty good stuff, decent, whatever you would like me to say. Right now I”m just ticked off. Cashman got hosed by a team that doesn’t even have a GM.

Chris
1 year 1 month ago

You’re the definition of a fan overvaluing his teams prospects. Solarte was a great story but nothing more. And De Paula will ultimately end up as a middle reliever. If headley can bounce back just a little, the Yankees got a steal.

Federal League
1 year 1 month ago

This. Guys like Solarte are available every single off-season for just money. DePaula is a future bullpen guy in New York, at best. It’s a trade you make.

Chris
1 year 1 month ago

Exactly. And I’m a Yankees fan. Haha. De Paula was ranked 15th of the top 20 prospects at the beginning of the season (not even that good) and I can’t say he’d even be in my top 20 at this point.

Federal League
1 year 1 month ago

And this is just when compared to guys already in the system — it says nothing about the free agents that are going to be brought in.

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

“DePaula is a future bullpen guy in New York”

As if that’s a bad thing? Do I need to remind of you Betances? (not comparing the 2, just mentioning 1 starter who couldn’t last as one and then eventually turned into an AS. Not saying that will happen with De Paula, don’t get me wrong).

Federal League
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, Betances. And Robertson. And Warren. And Whitley.

Producing pitchers for the bullpen hasn’t been an issue for New York.

Chris
1 year 1 month ago

Betances had sustained success up to AA Trenton and couldn’t keep his stuff strong a third time thru the order on a consistent basis. De Paula is already struggling at High A and never had the stuff Betances had from the get go. Far different scenarios

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

The only ones overvaluing are you and others. You are overvaluing Headley.

I never said Solarte was good. I said he is average (for this year). Headley is not average, he is below average (offensively) this season. I don’t care what happened in 2012. Do I need to point out how many players careers have stunk 1 or 2 years after an AS/MVP caliber season?

Chris
1 year 1 month ago

Ok. So you’ve got two players. Player A and Player B. Player A had a hot start but has never sustained success in the MLB and has cooled considerably (enough to get demoted). Player B had a cold start but has looked competent at the plate recently and has also had a fair amount of success in the MLB in recent years. Who do you take?