The free agent market for third basemen drops off after Aramis Ramirez, which is why Ben Nicholson-Smith highlighted potential trade candidates late last month. One of those trade candidates may not be available however, as sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Padres will be reluctant to move Chase Headley this offseason.
Headley, 27, projects to earn $3MM through arbitration this winter, his second time through the process as a Super Two. His .289/.374/.399 batting line in 2011 masks a drastic home/road split; the switch-hitter hit just .243/.348/.326 at Petco Park but .330/.399/.465 on the road. His career split is just as pronounced. The various advanced metrics rate Headley's defense as comfortably above-average at the hot corner.
The Marlins, Cubs, Tigers, Angels, and Rockies all figure to be in the market for third base help this offseason. Logan Forsythe and James Darnell both made their big league debuts in 2011, but retaining Headley would allow the Padres to be patient with the young duo. They've combined for just 373 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.