A few days after unloading closer Huston Street, the San Diego Padres have dealt third baseman Chase Headley to the New York Yankees for infielder Yangervis Solarte and pitching prospect Rafael De Paula.
The one reason I enjoyed watching Padres game was that every time Headley’s name was mentioned I would repeat his name in the manner the late Harvey Korman did in Blazing Saddles when everyone referred to him as “Hedy Lamarr”. That’s Hedley!!!
Headley had spent his entire career with the Padres where he made his big league debut in 2007. In 2012, Headley had a monster year leading the NL in RBI with 115. He drove in more than half of those runs (63) from August onward. On the basis of those two months, I picked Headley to win the 2013 MVP and the Padres to win the 2013 World Series. However, Headley was a major disappointment last season hitting .250 with 13 HR and 50 RBI. His offensive production has continued to decline this season. An injured left thumb in spring training and a torn meniscus in his left knee certainly haven’t helped matters. In 77 games with the Padres in 2014, Headley hit .229 with 7 HR and 32 RBI.
I don’t see the 30-year old Headley returning to his form of two years ago. Given that Headley is a free agent at the end of the season this is strictly a stop gap measure for the Yankees.
In 75 games for the Yankees, Solarte hit .254 with 6 HR and 31 RBI. In April and May, Solarte was a pleasant surprise hitting around .300 and ably playing three infield positions. But his offense sharply declined in June and the Yankees briefly demoted him to their AAA affiliate in Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Solarte has hit .154 (12 for 78) since June 1st. The 27-year old rookie should get more playing time in San Diego and perhaps will get the opportunity to play third base full time. If nothing else, he will be in a better position to recover from his slump without the withering scrutiny of the New York press.
UPDATE: Headley made an auspicious debut in pinstripes last night hitting a walk off single in the 14th inning to defeat the Texas Rangers 2-1.