Why the Padres should trade Chase Headley now


Should the San Diego Padres look to move Chase Headley? (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

One of the Padres bright spots in 2011, Chase Headley, is coming off his best season yet. His batting average was 20 points above his career average (.269) at a very respectable (.289). Headley’s home run total was down, but his slugging percentage was its highest since his rookie season. He did miss a significant portion of the season after sustaining a broken finger while sliding into second on a stolen base attempt. Headley has logged enough innings at third base to thoroughly assess his defensive ability.

While I don’t primarily rely on advanced statistics, such as UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) to solely rate or analyze a defender’s worth, I do find such a measurement valuable. Headley had a gold-glove worthy performance in 2010, finishing the season with a 17.9 UZR defensive rating. This season, Headley’s UZR dropped off significantly to a well-below average UZR of -5.0. Is this an anomaly for Chase, or merely a case of him coming into spring training (admittedly) heavier in an attempt to stay healthy, stronger throughout the season and improve his power production? I’ve watched Headley enough to know he’s a plus-defender when healthy. Despite the drop-off in this advanced defensive statistical measurement, the Padres seem to be very happy with Headley’s production at the hot corner.

So, why trade him now?

The Padres have a few internal options at third base, such as James Darnell, Logan Forsythe and top prospect Jedd Gyorko, who is emerging as the favorite for the near future. I believe the Padres should capitalize on selling high now, while they are still in a rebuilding mode. It would be dealing from a position of strength to go after a player that fits the Padres philosophy of trying to, “play PETCO Park into an advantage.” They could possibly look for a corner outfielder with strong defensive tools, speed to cover PETCO Park’s spacious outfield, who’s a gap-power/line-drive contact type hitter. While Headley’s overall numbers have gone up and down, his home and road offensive splits have been very consistent. Unfortunately, they’ve been consistently poor at home. Headley has dramatic career offensive splits. His career line at home is .229/.319/.336 in contrast to his very impressive career road numbers (.303/.364/.441). It’s apparent that Headley is not the prototypical power hitter for his position, or for PETCO Park. However, we haven’t seen many hitters, if any, flourish in PETCO. While Headley is a switch-hitter, he bats from the left side more often than not where his power numbers take a bigger hit. Ideally, the Padres should get a better run producer for third base. The Padres have the three aforementioned prospects and face Headley’s second significant raise through arbitration. This is coupled with his decline in defense and him being the polar opposite of a player who “plays PETCO Park into an advantage”.

The Padres were happy with the way Forsythe played during his call-up last year, despite his underwhelming overall numbers. Darnell was promoted upon Headley’s injury; however, he didn’t get significant playing time. While Darnell has some questions defensively, his bat should play well anywhere, and he has primarily been a third baseman during his professional career. Upon soon-to-be-former GM Jed Hoyer’s personal request, Darnell took outfield repetitions in the minors earlier in the season. Darnell’s shoulder dislocation and surgery promptly hindered further development. Jesus Guzman is another player who could play some games at third base, which has been his primary position throughout his professional career as well. His bat came on like gangbusters, crushing everything in sight. He is a sub-par defender, at best, who is probably destined as a DH in the American League.

There is another thing to keep in mind. With Jed Hoyer leaving for the Cubs, it’s possible the new front-office brass will view certain players differently. Would Guzman actually have a shot at third with the new brain trust? Maybe the new brain trust views Darnell just as valuable or better suited at third base than Hoyer had.

A little off topic, but I also wonder aloud if the Padres would work out a trade with the Cubs. They could sweeten the compensation the Padres will be receiving for Hoyer and Jason McLeod leaving. I have done previous pieces profiling specific players, and thought Brett Jackson would fit well in PETCO Park with his five-tool ability. Instead of one or two fringe prospects, the Padres could include Headley for Jackson. The Cubs would get an everyday player who could be very good in that park and division. In return, the Padres would receive a top prospect who fits their philosophy for Headley, Hoyer and McLeod.

There are very few attractive third baseman this year and many teams looking for an upgrade. After looking at the free-agent market, Headley should look very attractive and affordable.

Teams that may be looking for an upgrade:

Colorado Rockies

Chicago Cubs

Milwaukee Brewers

Atlanta Braves (barring Chipper Jones‘s health and future with the organization)

Cincinnati Reds (barring Scott Rolen‘s health and future with the organization)

Oakland Athletics

Los Angeles Angels

Seattle Mariners

Florida Marlins

The market for free-agent third baseman is bleak:

Wilson Betemit (age 30)

Casey Blake (38)

Jorge Cantu (30)

Eric Chavez (34)

Craig Counsell (41)

Mark DeRosa (37)

Greg Dobbs (33)

Edwin Encarnacion (29)

Jerry Hairston Jr. (36)

Kevin Kouzmanoff (30)

Andy LaRoche (28)

Felipe Lopez (32)

Jose Lopez (28)

Nick Punto (34)

Aramis Ramirez (34)

Omar Vizquel (45)

While I believe the Padres should trade high on Headley now, it may not be as realistic as keeping him until next year’s trade deadline. I think it would be difficult for the Padres to trade one of their most productive bats because of their offensive woes. If they fall out of contention by the trade deadline and one of the aforementioned prospects is playing well, a trade at the deadline may be more prudent.

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  1. “Double digit steals (13/2) with the 2nd highest sb% on the team AND a team leading 28 doubles in only 381 ab = a little speed. Period. You can try to spin the facts any way you want, but anyone in baseball will tell you he has decent speed.”
    Like I said, he’s a smart base runner.  End of story.

    “The point you once again ignore is that he is not that bad at home compared to how OTHERS have done at Petco. Look up how he has done compared to other players with 1000+ PA at Petco. ”

    You keep bring this up, yet without any information backing your claim. Not  uncommon coming from you. I’ve looked up almost every regular player since Petco opened, have you or is this another baseless claim from “Websoulsurfer”?. Headley is still owns one of the more dramatic HOME/ROAD splits we have had period! Get it? NOT BEING IDEAL FOR PETCO. Especially being a switch hitter who has a loop in his swing that has to change his approach for the particular ballpark. 

    “Cameron Maybin hit .63 points lower at Petco than on the road, should the Padres trade him? F*** no. Its the PARK, not the player.”

    What a weak argument, even from you. Cameron Maybin had his first full year in Petco (in the big’s for that matter) and he’s your best example?! lol. He’s also a RHB (that shouldn’t affect his overall numbers as much seeing Petco destroys LHB) that has SPEED unlike Headley! Talk about small sample size. 

    “What long term reward specifically? What players specifically? What player is going to do better at Petco than a guy that is better than most at Petco? Who is going to hit better than Headley on the road that is available AND that fits the areas of need for the Padres?”

    Pretty simple. Trading a player during a transition year. During a year in which it is very unlikely the Padres will compete, when they have three prospects (Gyorko, Forsythe, Darlell) that can play serviceable baseball, in hopes of bringing back a higher ceiling ball player which the Padres lack internally. You know, a player that the Padres could look bring in at a premium position in hopes of “playing Petco into an advantage”. A player that could profile IN THE FUTURE more so than Headley has. I

    “Step up. Name some names. Lists of a third of the teams in baseball is not really cutting it down much or really building your argument very well.”

     I have named many players specifically.  None of which you have either read, or addressed. 

    “The Cubs have a need, but no one that fills the Padres stated needs other than Castro and Jackson. Jackson is a nice prospect, but no has no real plus skills and the Cubs have said they will not trade him or Castro. So moot point.”

    As usual, your posts are much like your “analysis”, baseless and weak lacking substance. 

    Q & A today on @MLBTraderumors chat: Comment From Guest “How about the Cubs trading for SD’s Chase Headley to play 3B? What kind of package would the Cubs have to send to land him?”2:40Tim Dierkes: “That is what I meant with the Cubs being creative. Carpenter and McNut”t?Also on the chat when asked if the Cubs had a reliable 3B, the obvious answer was no. That Epstein alluded to going outside the organization to fill that whole. Taking their best pitching prospect, and one pitcher who can throw it 100mph out of the pen, yeah… that makes no sense in a transition year right? lol

    Again, you miss the point, not surprising. 

    “The Reds have power prospect  at 3b in Francisco and unless they are willing to send Alonso to the Padres as an OF don’t really have any affordable players to fit the Padres needs.”

    Umm, what about their catcher? Mesoraco? What about Billy Hamilton? One of the fastest players at a premium position that COULD fit the bill of “playing Petco into an advantage”. A player who stole well over 100 bases last year! Looks like you’re cherry picking prospects. Again, I am not surprised in your pathetic attempt to make your non-argument. I realize seeking affirmation from the baseball community is high on ‘your to do list,’ but you have more holes in your “arguments” than swish cheese! I also mentioned Heisey above because I think he has more to show. Guess you missed that part. They also have Cozart, who I know his recovering from an injury. However, he could fit nice also.

    “The Athletics certainly have a need at 3B with Sizemore being heir apparent at that position, but their biggest need will likely be in the OF with 4 OF being FA. not a good trade partner.”

    Actually I could see Oakland being a match. They have Taylor and Choice, who I mentioned BEFORE. Oakland are always players in the FA market and who is to say they do not bring in one or more OF? You? Please.

    “Seattle Mariners have Figgins under contract for 2 more years and Seagar and Liddi knocking on the door so making trade for 3B not high probability.”

    True. However they seem to be open to move Figgins. While I would think that Nick Franklin would be a nice grab, I do not expect that type of trade. 

    “The Angels have Callaspo at 3B, but Headley would undoubtedly be an uograde for them. Peter Bourjus would be an intriguing pickup for the Padres giving them 2 CF patrolling the vast Petco OF. Not sure the Angels would trade him, but makes for an interesting discussion at least. Would make a good trade partner.”

    I’ve said Bourjos would be a great fit on almost every platform (MLBTraderumors, Twitter, Padres.com, U-T, FB, Etc). And if you could actually take your time to read through the articles, you would see he was profiled in the piece before specifically.  Up your game!

    “The Florida Marlins have one of the best prospects in the game at 3B ready to step in and its highly unlikely they would trade for a relatively expensive Headley. But if they did make that trade, Logan Morrison is an intriguing power bat. LH, but lots of power.”

    The notion of a team moving into a new stadium could easily justify making a run for an established player. Coghlan and Morrison come to mind. 

    “That is what I am looking for from someone who generally does their homework as well as you do. Not a list of teams and FA. ”

    What you either do not except, or understand, (because once again it makes your non-arguments laughable) is that the Padres could package Headley (which I’ve suggested MANY TIMES) with another internal prospect to bring back a player that COULD fit the mold of their philosophy more ideally. 

    Again, a player that could have a higher ceiling or BETTER fit the Padres philosophy, and or Petco park. The Padres now have one of the best systems in baseball, but the question is how high are they on some of their internal position players as serious options? Nor you and I could answer this question. I now you would LIKE to THINK you can, but everything else is JUST speculation. Like I said before, they way you or I, as die hard Padre fans look at our home grown player prospects, the Padres might view differently. Same goes for other teams. Especially those who believe they can compete next year. And, the Padres are a LONG shot to compete. 

    Next time when you criticize someone’s work, make sure you know what you’re talking about.  Or at least read through all of the pieces so you do not look so desperate. 0- for the decade!

  2. Double digit steals (13/2) with the 2nd highest sb% on the team AND a team leading 28 doubles in only 381 ab = a little speed. Period. You can try to spin the facts any way you want, but anyone in baseball will tell you he has decent speed.

    The point you once again ignore is that he is not that bad at home compared to how OTHERS have done at Petco. Look up how he has done compared to other players with 1000+ PA at Petco.

    Yes he has not done as well at Petco as the exceptionally good numbers he has on the road (.330/.399/.465), but compared to league average or Padres average OR any other player with 1000+ PA at Petco he is doing well. Not great like he does on the road, but well. His .243/.348 is still better than the .234/.301 the rest of baseball hit at Petco (and 20 points of BA and 52 points in OBP and better than his team averaged).

    Cameron Maybin hit .63 points lower at Petco than on the road, should the Padres trade him? F*** no. Its the PARK, not the player.

    What long term reward specifically?
    What players specifically?
    What
    player is going to do better at Petco than a guy that is better than
    most at Petco? Who is going to hit better than Headley on the road that is available AND that fits the areas of need for the Padres?

    Step up. Name some names. Lists of a third of the teams in baseball is not really cutting it down much or really building your argument very well.

    Now if you said, “the Braves have a need for a 3B because Chipper Jones is old and Salcedo and Drury are too far away to be of help for a couple of years and the Braves have two very good power hitting RH OF in … (couldnt think of an OF they have that is both RH and a power hitter),” that would be a cohesive argument.

    Except in their case their biggest need is in LF and Prado would fill in nicely at 3B.

    Padres rarely make trades within the division and Moorad is more loathe to do so than Moores was, so trading with Rockies likely not going to happen. If if there was a willingness to trade, not a good fit talent wise.

    The Cubs have a need, but no one that fills the Padres stated needs other than Castro and Jackson. Jackson is a nice prospect, but no has no real plus skills and the Cubs have said they will not trade him or Castro. So moot point.

    The Brewers have a need with McGehee under performing but Schafer is their best tradeable piece and he is a 4th outfielder. No better than what the Padres have in their system already. Not a good trade partner

    The Reds have power prospect  at 3b in Francisco and unless they are willing to send Alonso to the Padres as an OF don’t really have any affordable players to fit the Padres needs.

    The Athletics certainly have a need at 3B with Sizemore being heir apparent at that position, but their biggest need will likely be in the OF with 4 OF being FA. not a good trade partner.

    The Angels have Callaspo at 3B, but Headley would undoubtedly be an uograde for them. Peter Bourjus would be an intriguing pickup for the Padres giving them 2 CF patrolling the vast Petco OF. Not sure the Angels would trade him, but makes for an interesting discussion at least. Would make a good trade partner.

    Seattle Mariners have Figgins under contract for 2 more years and Seagar and Liddi knocking on the door so making trade for 3B not high probability.

    The Florida Marlins have one of the best prospects in the game at 3B ready to step in and its highly unlikely they would trade for a relatively expensive Headley. But if they did make that trade, Logan Morrison is an intriguing power bat. LH, but lots of power.

    So two reasonable possibilities for trades of the 9 teams listed.

    That is what I am looking for from someone who generally does their homework as well as you do. Not a list of teams and FA.

    That being said, Its too early to shop Headley.

    The Padres are MUCH more likely to give Headley an extension in order to keep his price down and ENHANCE his trade value going forward.

  3. Double digit steals (13/2) with the 2nd highest sb% on the team AND a team leading 28 doubles in only 381 ab = a little speed. Period. You can try to spin the facts any way you want, but anyone in baseball will tell you he has decent speed.

    The point you once again ignore is that he is not that bad at home compared to how OTHERS have done at Petco. Look up how he has done compared to other players with 1000+ PA at Petco.

    Yes he has not done as well at Petco as the exceptionally good numbers he has on the road (.330/.399/.465), but compared to league average or Padres average OR any other player with 1000+ PA at Petco he is doing well. Not great like he does on the road, but well. His .243/.348 is still better than the .234/.301 the rest of baseball hit at Petco (and 20 points of BA and 52 points in OBP and better than his team averaged).

    Cameron Maybin hit .63 points lower at Petco than on the road, should the Padres trade him? F*** no. Its the PARK, not the player.

    What long term reward specifically?
    What players specifically?
    What
    player is going to do better at Petco than a guy that is better than
    most at Petco? Who is going to hit better than Headley on the road that is available AND that fits the areas of need for the Padres?

    Step up. Name some names. Lists of a third of the teams in baseball is not really cutting it down much or really building your argument very well.

    Now if you said, “the Braves have a need for a 3B because Chipper Jones is old and Salcedo and Drury are too far away to be of help for a couple of years and the Braves have two very good power hitting RH OF in … (couldnt think of an OF they have that is both RH and a power hitter),” that would be a cohesive argument.

    Except in their case their biggest need is in LF and Prado would fill in nicely at 3B.

    Padres rarely make trades within the division and Moorad is more loathe to do so than Moores was, so trading with Rockies likely not going to happen. If if there was a willingness to trade, not a good fit talent wise.

    The Cubs have a need, but no one that fills the Padres stated needs other than Castro and Jackson. Jackson is a nice prospect, but no has no real plus skills and the Cubs have said they will not trade him or Castro. So moot point.

    The Brewers have a need with McGehee under performing but Schafer is their best tradeable piece and he is a 4th outfielder. No better than what the Padres have in their system already. Not a good trade partner

    The Reds have power prospect  at 3b in Francisco and unless they are willing to send Alonso to the Padres as an OF don’t really have any affordable players to fit the Padres needs.

    The Athletics certainly have a need at 3B with Sizemore being heir apparent at that position, but their biggest need will likely be in the OF with 4 OF being FA. not a good trade partner.

    The Angels have Callaspo at 3B, but Headley would undoubtedly be an uograde for them. Peter Bourjus would be an intriguing pickup for the Padres giving them 2 CF patrolling the vast Petco OF. Not sure the Angels would trade him, but makes for an interesting discussion at least. Would make a good trade partner.

    Seattle Mariners have Figgins under contract for 2 more years and Seagar and Liddi knocking on the door so making trade for 3B not high probability.

    The Florida Marlins have one of the best prospects in the game at 3B ready to step in and its highly unlikely they would trade for a relatively expensive Headley. But if they did make that trade, Logan Morrison is an intriguing power bat. LH, but lots of power.

    So two reasonable possibilities for trades of the 9 teams listed.

    That is what I am looking for from someone who generally does their homework as well as you do. Not a list of teams and FA.

    That being said, Its too early to shop Headley.

    The Padres are MUCH more likely to give Headley an extension in order to keep his price down and ENHANCE his trade value going forward.

  4. “Headley is EXACTLY the Padres stated team philosophy embodied. 
    A high average line drive hitter. One that hits the ball to the gaps and has a little speed.”

    Firstly, lets not confuse Headley’s great base running skills with speed. He’s a very smart player. Great instincts on the base paths, but speed and Headley should never be linked together. He has average speed at best. I thought about putting caps for ‘at best’ so you would know I was emphasizing, but I think you get the picture.

    The point which once again you ignore, is how poor he is at home. It’s dramatic. It would be different if he his 270 on the road and 250 at home. Not the case. Unfortunately for your non-argument, his split stats go against him being “EXACTLY the Padres stated team philosophy embodied”. 

    When you hit 70 points lower (career) at home than on the road, you’re not suited for that park. He’s admittedly altered his approach for Petco. I also never suggested we should be too concerned about a players production per position. In fact, I once again acknowledged that its not ideal. For Petco park! 

    “It’s apparent that Headley is not the prototypical power hitter for his position, or for PETCO Park.”

    So, it’s neither. Get it?

    “What player specifically could you get back for Headley that is major league ready and could equal or exceed his production?”

    Again, I am not even suggesting anyone would necessarily exceed his production. In fact I have indicated we would probably see an immediately decline with potential for long term reward. You know, a player who could play better in Petco park than Headley. 

    Given the third base market, and again the internal options this is not unrealistic to find a potential match. 

    Last year we saw Jed Hoyer trade two middle relievers for Cameron Maybin. Again, and I say again because I am almost positive I have said it to you multiple times on varies platforms; while I do not expect a Cam Maybin type deal in return, it’s very possible given Headley’s value to get fair value. Need for need.

    “Redo your article with more about possible trade options. Who needs a 3rd baseman and WHY? Not just a list of teamsWhy would Headley be a good fit there? Who do they have at corner OF that is a power RHB? Headley has THREE years left under team control. So at this point its a bad move to trade him unless you get a RHB corner OF back in trade.”

    I listed teams. This is where (where a reader can comment) I intended to elaborate on any further expansions speculating players. I have before listed several players for several different teams. Boujos, Segura (Angels) Jackson, (Cubs) Billy Hamilton, Chris Heisey, Mesoraco (Reds) Rasario, Smith (Rockies) Nick Franklin, (Seattle) Michael Choice (Athletics) Etc etc etc.

    Obviously the way you or I may perceive prospects may differ. Or their FO perspective current options or prospects for that matter. However, it’s hard to say what teams will do if they are willing to obtain a reliable third baseman to win soon. Especially one who could be an All-Star in another park. The Padres are rebuilding, do they believe they are 1-2 years away? Many of those prospects will not go anywhere, some maybe untouchable or might not fit. However, I have always said why not use Headley in a package? For a team like the Cubs who are going to need to focus on pitching, why not use Headley along with one of the prospects Hoyer is familiar with?

    I also find it amusing you say trade for a RHB, when its possible one of our in house bats could profile well in Petco (or comparable) replacing Headley ALONG with another prospect or player replacing him. It all depends on how the Padres view their current situation which is being currently evaluated by Brynes and Co.

    Bottom line, the statistics absolutely refute the fact that Headley is a good player for Petco. No matter how you want to spin it.

  5. Headley is EXACTLY the Padres stated team philosophy embodied.
    A high average line drive hitter. One that hits the ball to the gaps and has a little speed.

    What Headley is NOT is the prototypical home run hitting 3rd baseman. Of course NO ONE is a prototypical power hitter at Petco, so its a moot point.

    People need to just get over any one position being a power position when you play in an extreme park like Petco. I want XBH from my run producing players in batting order. Position on the field is irrelevant.

    You said that Headley was not a good run producer and my point is that when people are on base he does EXTREMELY well. The problem is having men on base, not Headley.

    What player specifically could you get back for Headley that is major league ready and could equal or exceed his production?

    Answer THAT question and then its worth discussing, but saying its a good idea to trade the best overall bat on the team for a nebulous other player is a dangerous statement.

    Redo your article with more about possible trade options.
    Who needs a 3rd baseman and WHY? Not just a list of teams
    Why would Headley be a good fit there?
    Who do they have at corner OF that is a power RHB?

    Headley has THREE years left under team control. So at this point its a bad move to trade him unless you get a RHB corner OF back in trade.

  6. According to stats that adjust for ballpark Headley was still an average offensive player at Petco last year, and well above average on the road. That is even with those stats, in my opinion, underestimating the value of walks at Petco.

    Headley’s skill set is undervalued especially at 3B. I just think it is very unlikely that the Padres get equal value in return for Headley. He is worth something like 3 top 100 prospects, but there is almost no chance Byrnes gets an offer like that. I understand his trade value might be at a high point right now, but I doubt it is high enough. So I think they should probably hang on to him. Although if they get blown away by an offer I am fine with a trade if it improves the team in 2013 and beyond.

    Forsythe has only had 125 games at 2B in the minors. I think he needs to be at 2B in the minors or a utility guy on the bench for the big club next year.

  7. Headley should be moved … it’s one thing not having a 3B who hits homeruns, but you need some doubles from the hot corner position in Petco Park … Headley may have hit close to .300 this season, but for almost strickly a singles hitter that doesn’t help the offense much. He never seems to come up with clutch hits either.

  8. Eduardo Nunez was worth negative WAR last year. I haven’t seen him to know if he really is that bad, but I wouldn’t want him on the Padres. Cabrera probably has more upside.

  9. LOL at WAR.

    I’m not saying he isn’t a good third baseman. 

    You think he’s perfect for Petco, yet his numbers prove otherwise.

    You’re right.  There isn’t a need to trade him and I wouldn’t trade him just to trade him.  You only trade him if you get what you want.      The suggestion is to trade him because his value is probably at it’s highest, he isn’t right for Petco, and there’s a weak free agent market for third base.  Obviously you don’t trade him if teams aren’t offering something you want.

    I didn’t suggest that Darnell or Forsythe is ideal.  I’m saying you can give them an opportunity to see what their bat offers.  I agree Forsythe should be at second base, but Hudson is there.  You could give Forsythe AB at third to see if he’s our future second baseman.  

    We’re not going anywhere next year with or without Headley.  

  10. No one is untouchable. Latos could be very possible. Don’t be so sure. John Harper of the New York Daily News discusses a group of starting pitchers as possible trade candidates. Such as, Mat Latos, Matt Cain, Gio Gonzalez among others.
     
    The Yankees also have another highly touted catcher in Gary Sanchez who is much more coveted defensively. Some believe he will be the catcher of the future.

    Headley’s value is also no longer in the OF. It never was. He will not be playing the OF in any scenario. I think a package is possible. Clayton Richard is another starting pitcher who is coming off a bad year. He’s is also a left handed pitcher. However, I don’t see him fairing well in the AL East by any means. 

    I could see a match between the two teams. The prospects are there.

  11. There in no way the Yankees are going to trade Montero.  But Eduardo Nunez is a quality SS with 5 years service time left.  Add him to Swisher plus another couple of pieces maybe Phil Hughes and a Noesi or Warren plus Joseph for Luebke and Headley.  The Yankees need a lefty starter very badly and Headley would split time between third and right field.  He bat would an asset in NY with so many sluggers.

    The Yankees might also want to take a flier on Thatcher.

    The Yankees would not want Latos for Montero who thought that up is delusional.

  12. I think Swisher is a nice suggestion for RF. I’m not sure what the Padres would be willing to give up for him though. I do not believe the Padres are limited to SS. That maybe ideal given the internal options. However, if they are offered a package, and match up well with a team at any premium position, Headley could go.

  13. Montero would make sense. I do not see Luebke going anywhere now. However, Anyone is available for the right price. We have seen on MLBtraderumors.com Latos and Montero as speculation, linked in multiple rumors. I do believe the Padres need to prioritize offense now. Even if that means trading away some pitching. 

  14. Headley has been very productive the last 2 years. Even missing a good portion of 2011 he has 7.6 WAR over the last 2 years. That’s good for 5th best among major league third basemen. If the guy is helping the team win, I don’t care whether it’s due to defense, offense, walks, or HR’s. He plays good defense and walks at a high rate. I think that is perfect for Petco. Guys that walk a lot should be more valuable at Petco because of the park’s effect on batting average on balls in play.

    I don’t see the need to trade him while he is cheap and productive. If the Padres get a very good offer then they should consider it (which should be more than just Brett Jackson). Otherwise just wait until Gyorko forces the issue.

    Darnell is not an ideal option at 3B. Hopefully he can prove a decent corner outfielder with more reps there. I do like Darnell’s bat as a fit for Petco. And if you want Forsythe to start then he should do it at 2B, where the Padres have a dearth of near major league ready talent.

  15. Swisher isn’t under contract is he? Isn’t it a team option? If they want to get rid of him just don’t pick up the option.

    Swisher would be a good match offensively for Petco though with his high OBP.

    I think if the Padres are going to move Headley they need to get a SS in return that has at least 4 years of control after 2012.

  16. I am curious as a Yankees fan what you think the Padres would want to both Headley and Luebke?  The Yankees would want to get rid of Swisher likely paying some of his contract.  They have Romine and Nunez.  They have some decent pitchers that are just about ready in Noesi and Warren.  They also have a nice young second baseman in Joseph too.

  17. “Even the developer of UZR will tell you its only accurate when you have a minimum of 3 years data. Headley has proven to be a plus defender.”

    I acknowledged he is a plus defender, in this very piece.

    “While the Padres have several players that may be able to take Headley’s place at 3rd base in a year or two, none are ready today”

    Not necessarily. Of course they would need to get acclimated, that goes without saying. They’re prospects. Two player prospects who maybe more ideal for Petco given that they are right handed. Again, I am speaking about a position of some what of a strength, in hopes of bringing back a player (at another premium position) that better suites Petco park. While there would more likely than be an immediate impact negatively in production, there could be a high reward long term if they bring in the right player back. 

    “Headley hit .338/.410/.500/.910 in 2011 with men on base and .292 career. He has done his job very well with men on base in terms of batting average and slugging. Not his fault men are not on base in front of him very often.”

    No one is suggesting Headley is not a good hitter. The entire point, is he is not ideal for the Padres philosophy in Petco park. His stats are dramatic.

    “PSS – Look up where Headley stands offensively for players with 1000+ PA at Petco. You will be surprised.”

    No I wouldn’t. If you read the piece, I acknowledge that not many players flourish in Petco park. Headley is just a dramatic example of that. The opposite of a player the FO wants to use  in hopes of “playing Petco park into an advantage”.

  18. The Padres haven’t had many good hitters with over 1000 PA in Petco Park, so I’m not sure how relevant that point is.  His .229/.319/.336 in Petco is horrible no matter how you look at it.

    Orlando Hudson is a proven major league player.  Is he worth more than Bryce Harper because he is just a prospect?  I don’t think Headley is worth more than Jackson in a trade.  It’s all about perspective.  How do the Cubs perceive Headley’s worth in comparison to one of their home grown top prospects?  It’s not as simple as you are making it out to be. 

    You are cherry picking Headley’s stats to show that he hits with runners ON, but you fail to mention his substandard numbers with runners in scoring position (.260/.356/.357).  Headley does not drive in runners like a corner position player should and isn’t some juggernaut for offensive production, especially in Petco Park.  

    Who cares if Forsythe or Darnell isn’t ready to provide the same production as Headley?  The Padres aren’t going anywhere in 2012.  Let those guys battle for 3rd base to see what the future holds for them.  Get something for Headley when he still has some value.  He’s not the future at 3rd base and is not right for Petco Park.

  19. Even the developer of UZR will tell you its only accurate when you have a minimum of 3 years data. Headley has proven to be a plus defender.

    While the Padres have several players that may be able to take Headley’s place at 3rd base in a year or two, none are ready today. Each of the prospects, Darnell, Gyorko, etc… would have to go through an acclimation process of a year or more to get to level Headley is at today.

    Run production is a function of two things.
    1st and foremost – how many people are on base when you come to bat.
    2nd – Your BA when people are on base.

    Headley hit .338/.410/.500/.910 in 2011 with men on base and .292 career. He has done his job very well with men on base in terms of batting average and slugging. Not his fault men are not on base in front of him very often.

    Headley is inexpensive. Even as a 2nd year arbitration eligible player, he will be quite inexpensive.

    Wait a year on making a decision whether to move Headley.

    PS Headley is worth more in trade than Jackson. Headley is a proven major league player. Jackson is a prospect. Enough said.

    PSS – Look up where Headley stands offensively for players with 1000+ PA at Petco. You will be surprised.

  20. Reynolds definitely looks better defensively at first base, although even there he’s a sup-par defender. His problems seem to come from the throwing variety. I could see the Padres trying to acquire home town boy Adam Jones, but it would take a lot more than Headley and the I don’t see the O’s having a replacement internally. 

  21. The O’s are another team that would be looking for an upgrade, although maybe not through trade.  There is no way Mark Reynolds plays at 3rd base this year

  22. I don’t think Ichiro has lost a step despite his age.  He still stole 40 bases and was only caught 7 times.  That’s more stolen bases and a better percentage than his 162 game career average.  UZR is extremely unreliable. 

  23. Well, out of all the advanced statistical measurements, UZR has the most variables. However, Ichiro is getting older. A natural decline from him would be a better indication or not uncommon. 

    When Steve Finley won the Gold Glove in I believe 96, he according to these same measurements, was the worst OF in all of Baseball. There’s a place for these measurements, but like you said with a grain of salt and greater merit with a larger sample size. 

  24. I don’t think the significant drop means anything in such a small sample size.  UZR easily fluctuates.  Take Ichiro for example.  He has as much range as any RF in baseball.  He won the gold glove last year and had a very good 15.1 UZR.  His UZR dropped to -5.7.  Did he all of a sudden become a terrible RF?  No, and I’ll bet he gets his 11th straight gold glove this year.  Take UZR, WAR, and the rest of those stats with a grain of salt. 

  25. I agree on all counts. Having said that, I also believe it’s important to show such a significant drop in (UZR). 

    Brett Jackson, Bourjos. Those players could profile well in Petco park. As I responded to “TgIGoToS”, I believe the Padres could easily put together a package because of the deep farm system.

  26. UZR is really only a valuable tool when you are looking at a career sample size.  One season of UZR, especially one where he was injured, doesn’t really tell you anything about his defense.  I know you’re not saying that he wasn’t a good defender this year.  We’ve watched Chase enough to know he’s one of the better defensive third baseman in baseball and that didn’t change last year.  The more I research and try to apply UZR and sabermetrics in general, the less respect I have for it.  It has it’s place though. 

    I like the idea, but I don’t think they’ll trade Chase until the deadline.  Maybe they could put together a package deal for your boy Bourjos?

  27. I don’t disagree with any of your points really. I acknowledge that although his UZR was down, he’s an above average third baseman. I also would agree that hitting in another park/division would boost his extra base hit total including HR’s. I touched on that as well. 

    I think it’s ridiculous that a player is forced to change his approach for his home park, because of the extremities, going against most basic hitting philosophies. While he (Headley) may not bring back Jackson alone, they could match up well given all the variables. Hoyer also loved Headley. Need for need. It doesn’t have to be a straight swap. The Padres farm is loaded. Having said that, the Padres OF internal options either are not as close as Jackson, or may not fit the philosophy. 

  28. You suggesting Headley’s lack of value is more ridiculous than Mickey’s idea.  While I don’t think that gets you Jackson, I do believe Headley has a lot of value.  He’s an extremely good defensive third baseman and I don’t really care what UZR says.  Headley has plenty of range and he’s a plus defender.  His power is low because he’s adjusted his swing for Petco Park.  I think Headley would hit 15+ home runs in a hitter friendly park like Wrigley and be an above average hitter.  I think the time to trade him is now, but I don’t think they will.   

  29. “ridiculous”? Over the past two years, or since Headley’s been a big league third baseman, his 7.7 WAR ranks him fifth in the entire league. Get him away from Petco park, where his splits are dramatic and he’s a borderline star. Given the Free Agent market, Headley should be  very attractive.

  30. It is ridiculous to think the Padres could get Brett Jackson for Hoyer/Mcleod and Headley. Actually, it Headley is not worth much… a 3b without power and whose is going to cost some decent money next year and years to come. Pads could maybe get a 2nd tier minor leaguer or major league relief help for Headley.

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