Padres Acquire Chase Headley: Fantasy Fallout

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: Chase Headley
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: Chase Headley /

The Padres traded for third baseman Chase Headley early Tuesday afternoon. After a poor stint with the Yankees, can he rebound back in San Diego?

The New York Yankees continue their newsworthy offseason by trading away their third baseman Chase Headley back to the team he originally came from, the San Diego Padres. Headley hit well in his final three seasons with the Friars but struggled to live up to expectations in New York. What will his fantasy value be in 2018?

Headley joins a different Padres team. The team is (still) rebuilding with some young players on the rise and a couple of fantasy-relevant hitters. One of those players is the player the Padres received in return for Headley back in 2014, Yangervis Solarte.

Solarte does have experience playing all over the infield, with 134 games at second base and 35 as a first baseman. Though the Padres have Carlos Asuaje at second and Wil Myers at first. So, unless he takes over at second to keep his power in the lineup, we could see Solarte on the move to make room for Headley.

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Though Petco Park consistently ranks near the bottom in terms of home runs, a combination of Myers and Headley could do some damage in the rest of the National League West parks. Hunter Renfroe could make this a sleeper power-hitting trio.

Headley played in 147 games last season. He hit .273/.352/.406 with 12 home runs, 61 RBI and 77 runs scored in 512 at-bats. It was a better season than his 2016 campaign. Headley hit .253 with 14 home runs, 51 RBI and 58 runs scored in 140 games.

The reason the Yankees were interested in Headley was his MVP-worthy season in 2012. He hit 31 home runs, 115 RBI and .286 in 161 games. He hit .250 with 13 homers and 50 RBI the following season.

Headley’s strikeout rate is in the low 20s while his walk rate hovers near 10 percent. His groundball rate saw a drop when he joined the Yankees but it was still above 40 percent while his HR/FB rate averaged near 10.2 percent.

I currently have Headley outside my top-20 third basemen for this season. It may be recency bias but his peripherals aren’t doing him any favors.

In addition to Headley, the Padres acquired reliever Bryan Mitchell. In 48 appearances, he posted a 4.94 ERA, 1.617 WHIP, 5.9 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. He did look better in Triple-A, posting a 3.25 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 over 63.2 innings. Mitchell could be a decent middle relief pitcher in deeper leagues.

On the East Coast, the Yankees received outfielder Jabari Blash. In 235 career at-bats, he hit .200 with eight home runs and 21 RBI. He had some value in San Diego as a replacement option. However, with the number of outfielders the Yankees currently have, I don’t see any room for Blash on the 40-man roster.

The Yankees now have glaring holes at both second and third base. Todd Frazier is still out there, so a reunion is possible. The team still has Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes and top prospect Gleyber Torres as replacements.

Next: Cubs sign Brandon Morrow, fantasy impact

The Yankees said some more money, stirring up rumors that they may acquire another player or two to fill in the infield. Headley should see a bump in production back with the Padres, but wouldn’t think of him more than a utility or off-day fill-in option in standard leagues.