The latest news in the baseball world is the signing of third baseman Chase Headley by the New York Yankees.
Headley was traded to the Yankees from the San Diego Padres in July. He manned third base in the absence of Alex Rodriguez who, as we all know, was serving a historic year-long suspension for his ties to the use of PEDs.
Rodriguez plans to return to the Yankees in 2015 but at 40 years of age plus the year off, no one knows what will happen when he returns or where he’ll end up playing for New York.
There is no guarantee to what A-Rod will be able to do and Headley will provide the Yankees with consistency that they can’t get from A-Rod or even from first baseman Mark Teixeira.
With former San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval off the free agent market, having been signed early in the offseason by the Boston Red Sox, Headley was the best third baseman left on the market. Naturally the Giants were said to be interested in him as well.
Headley had a career year in 2012 batting .286 with 31 home runs and a league-leading 115 RBI. He hasn’t duplicated those numbers since however he did have better results moving from the Padres’ pitcher-friendly Petco Park to Yankees Stadium in the Bronx.
A very good defensive third baseman with a Gold Glove Award to his name, Headley hit .263 with six homers and 17 RBI in just 58 games with the Yankees. They were especially pleased with his .768 OPS.
It’s surprising that the Yankees took this long to sign Headley with the Giants also desperately in need of a third baseman. The Yankees won out though re-signing the free agent to four years and a reported $52 million.
Headley should be a solid third baseman for the Yankees for the foreseeable future. He’s a career .265 hitter with an average of 13 home runs a season but we know that he is capable of much more having hit 31 in 2012.
In a more hitter-friendly park like Yankees Stadium it’s possible to assume the Yankees could expect 20 home runs a year from Headley. He’s also said to be an assest in the clubhouse which is key for any team.
This was a smart move by the Yankees and quite a surprise that the Giants didn’t fight harder to win Headley over.