On Saturday, the San Diego Padres announced they were parting ways with Third Baseman Chase Headley. He was the second highest paid player on the roster this season with $13 million, behind only Eric Hosmer who is getting $20 million. While he was technically only designated for assignment, his age (34) and experience in the majors (11 seasons), it is virtually certain that he will be leaving San Diego. This cuts short his reunion with the Padres, the team which he had spent his entire career with until he was traded to the Yankees mid-season in 2014 in exchange for infielder Yangervis Solarte and pitcher Rafael De Paula.
(Note: Solarte was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason for prospects, and is now leading the team in home runs and RBI. De Paula, however, is still in the minors with the Cincinnati Reds, bouncing between Double and Triple-A).
Chase Headley was off to one of the worst starts of his career, batting a meager .115 average and no home runs across 27 games (and only 10 starts). However, he was solid during his first stint with the Padres, never batting below .250 in a full season. His best season with the team was back in 2012, when he won a Silver Slugger, Golden Glove, and led the National League with 115 RBI. He regressed over his next few seasons while with the Yankees, who traded him and pitcher Bryan Mitchell during the offseason in exchange for outfielder Jabari Blash. Still, this season marks the biggest step backward in Headley’s career.
As for potential suitors, a reunion with the Yankees can be pretty much ruled out, as they have been solid at third base between Brandon Drury and Miguel Andujar. Yet Headley can still add value to a team hoping to contend in the playoffs as a veteran switch-hitting corner infielder with playoff experience. But at this point, there is no obvious market for third basemen amongst playoff hopefuls, except perhaps with the Cardinals.
In his place, the Padres are bringing up infielder Cory Spangenberg, who had been hitting .293 in AAA with the El Paso Chihuahuas.