Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The Chase Headley acquisition in July was definitely a gamble for the Yankees. Headley had a monster year in 2012 for the San Diego Padres, winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove for third base that year. He hit 31 home runs, a league-leading 115 RBI, and came in fifth in the NL MVP voting. The following year he returned to being mortal, to a batting average around .250 and Runs/RBI/HR’s all going to about half of the year before. After 2014 began to look like the second consecutive year of confirming that Headley’s future was much less bright than his past, the Padres gave up on him and traded him to the Yankees for some young talent.

Chase Headley’s first game spoke volumes to me. He arrived in the middle of the game, was ready to suit up, and hit a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 14th inning. He would end up getting two more walk-off hits in his 58 games as a Yankee. On a team that had a clear lack of heart, this is a guy is worth keeping.

As an everyday player, he hit a respectable .262 with 6 home runs (on pace to hit 17 HRs if he had played all 162 as a Yankee), and an OPS of .768. On the defense side of the game, he had fielding percentages of .986 at third and .983 at first – both impressive. Being able to field at both corners of the infield may make him invaluable to the team, given the question marks that Yankees have at those positions. Alex Rodriguez is a question mark at third, and Mark Teixeira’s ability to stay healthy and be available for the length of the season make Headley a unique fit for the 2015 team.

Look, his ability to shine in pressure situations is what makes him valuable. You cannot put a stat on that, except the number of times he ends a game with a swing of the bat and ends up under a Gatorade bath. Headley has done that enough to warrant some attention. He reminds me of Raul Ibanez in that respect – the guy you wanted at the plate when a comeback was required.

The Yankees have begun their planning for 2015. Plans will include their approach to the free agent market. They know they have to answer the questions about third base, and Headley will certainly be in the conversation. He will also get attention from other teams, so the Yankees need to play this right. The Yankee teams that have won the World Series have all had a mix of players that would come up big in big situations. If you have enough of them scattered throughout the lineup, every game becomes winnable, even if you are losing late. Headley needs to be in that mix.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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