Consider the batting splits for San Diego third baseman Chase Headley this year.
Home: .243/.348/.326 with one home run in 59 games. (Yes, his on-base percentage was actually higher than his slugging percentage. That doesn’t happen very often.)
Road: .330/.399/.465 with three home runs in 54 games.
This would be a good time to point out three important details: 1) Headley plays his home games at spacious Petco Park; 2) he will earn more than $3 million in salary arbitration next year; and 3) the Padres keep a modest payroll.
Add up those factors, and Headley is a trade candidate – if not this offseason, then leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline or at this time next year.
For now, sources say the Padres will be reluctant to move Headley. But the team is coming off a 91-loss season and has a new general manager. So stay tuned.
Despite Headley’s modest home run total, he’s intriguing for a number of reasons. He can play third base or left field. He’s a switch hitter. He will be 27 on Opening Day. And his power would play up if he left Petco.
More than half the teams in baseball are looking for upgrades in left field or at third base. And a number of them – the Orioles, Reds, Rockies, and Brewers – play in ballparks where the ball travels particularly well.
One reason a trade could be more likely in July than December: Headley’s potential replacement at third base, the 24-year-old Logan Forsythe, may need additional time at Class AAA before he’s ready for the everyday job. Forsythe posted a .568 OPS in 150 major-league at-bats this year.
-- Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal