In his latest Full Count video, Ken Rosenthal mentions that the Pittsburgh Pirates have inquired on a few corner infield bats. Rosenthal mentions that the Pirates have looked at Bryan LaHair, Chase Headley, and Kevin Youkilis. He notes that there are far more buyers than sellers right now, but that the Pirates have the pitching depth to swing a deal.
LaHair is having a good season in Chicago. He’s hitting for a .310/.391/.589 line in 168 at-bats, along with 12 homers. This all comes at the age of 29, so there is some concern that he’s pulling a Garrett Jones and might not be this good going forward. He’s blocking top prospect Anthony Rizzo in the Cubs’ system.
Youkilis has struggled at the plate this year, hitting for a .231/.309/.372 line in 121 at-bats. The Red Sox currently have Will Middlebrooks at third base and Adrian Gonzalez at first base, leaving no room for “The Greek God of Walks”. The 33-year old has been hitting for more power since returning from the disabled list, with a .246/.328/.404 line in 57 at-bats since May 22nd.
Chase Headley looks like the best target, as he’s under control for two years beyond the 2012 season, and has had pretty good results the last two years. He’s hitting for a .269/.378/.822 line this year in 212 at-bats. Last year he hit for a .289/.374/.399 line in 381 at-bats. In his career he’s a .269/.347/.397 hitter. However, he has a .302/.367/.450 line in over 1000 at-bats away from Petco Park. He’s a switch hitter and has been better in his career as a left-hander, so he’d fit PNC Park well.
Headley looks like the best player of the group, but he also looks like he’d be the most expensive. LaHair’s value probably wouldn’t be as high due to a lack of experience, and the fact that he came out of nowhere and has a small sample of success. Youkilis probably wouldn’t require a lot, as there’s the worry that he’s on the downside of his career, plus he’s owed a little over $7 M for the remainder of his contract.