Padres Asking Pirates For a Significant Package of Prospects For Headley

Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the San Diego Padres are asking the Pittsburgh Pirates for a significant package of prospects for Chase Headley. Olney mentions that they’ve asked the same from all teams.

A month ago we looked at Headley’s trade value, putting him at $19.56 M over the next three years. However, that amount was based on a 3.0 WAR per year. The 3.0 WAR number was based on Headley’s career numbers, although his numbers this year are better. He already has a 3.6 WAR, which projects to a 5.4 WAR if he keeps up this pace. That would put his three year average at 4.3.

Headley’s trade value in our look a month ago was equal to one hitting prospect in the 26-50 range, which would be Starling Marte. At a 4.3 WAR, Headley would be worth $33.6 M, which would be that Marte-like prospect, plus an extra $15 M in prospects. An example of $15 M could be a Robbie Grossman or Gregory Polanco type hitting prospect, and one of the Indianapolis left-handers.

The higher Headley goes, the more he’s going to cost. If San Diego valued him like a 5.0 WAR player, he’d dd an extra $8.5 M to his trade value, which could mean two top 50 prospects, plus an Indianapolis left-hander. This would also put his value in Justin Upton territory.

It’s unlikely that Headley could be had without giving up at least one top prospect. In order to get maximum value from him, you’d have to play him at third base, since he loses value in the outfield. That would require moving Pedro Alvarez to first, although Alvarez currently has a 2.4 UZR/150, so a move to first wouldn’t be a necessity. That could impact trade talks. A lot of teams have a need at third base, while the Pirates aren’t as desperate with Alvarez hitting and fielding well this year. That could make it more likely that a team seeking a third baseman would pay more for Headley.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Todd Smith

    Since June 1st, McGehee is hitting .277 with a .835 OPS and 8 HR. Pedro is hitting .252 with a .898 OPS and 12 HR. Headley is hitting .279 with a .763 OPS and 4 HR.

    I’m just not interested in Headley at all.

    • Lee Young

      Agree….Especially not at THAT cost!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

        I just see that as the most economical way to provide the team with a player that can provide things that are currently absent from the team.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

          Wow. 4 dislikes. Lol. I’m sorry, I was under the impression that the Bucs already had 3 corner infielders that were performing well. Also, that an issu in their lineup was having a reliable lead off type batter with a solid OBP that can fill a corner outfield spot. My bad.

    • F Lang

      I would be very intersted in Headley if Pedro was struggling but we just don’t have the need at 3B and like the article said, he just doesn’t have the value in the OF that he does at third. To me, Headley has just never shown the power or ability to hit lefties good enough to garner a big package of prospects.

      • F Lang

        I’d rather just see us go get a cheaper option that is decent. Like a Ben Francisco. Over a few month span a solid player who gets a chance to jump in a pennant race and get consistent playing time can be lightning in a bottle. Any player can struggle or play very well for a few months so unless you can get a star player or get a player you can control for 2-3 years, giving up a lot of your system isn’t worth it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

    At this point, I’d rather see them get some kind of lead-off type bat that can play the outfield. Some kind of Juan Pierre, Span, type of player.

  • emjayinTN

    I liked Headley a lot, and for me the top was Brad Lincoln and Gorkys Hernandez and I was still holding the #33 pick in next years draft as a possibility. But, this is going way beyond what would be considered reasonable – let’s move on. The numbers posted by Todd Smith are revealing, and the Padres have to get rid of him (Gyorko), Maybe he would fit better with another team.

  • joegoodman29

    I don’t understand what the big deal with Headley is. The has a career high of 12 HR’s- granted playing at PETCO. Batted .289 last year but the other 3 was in the .260 range. If I wanted a guy that bats .260 with 12 HR’s I’d have kept Andy LaRoche. He put up those number in ’09. Padres can keep him if you ask me. We need a corner OF, not another utility guy. In a perfect world Denard Span would be nice. At this point I’d even put a flier out for David DeJesus and would be thrilled with Alex Gordon. Rumors out there he could end up in NY

    • Rick Peluso

      Completely agree, but on the same note why is Shane Victorino such a sought after commodity? We’re talking about a guy who would supposedly fill a corner outfield spot with an average in the .250s and eight home runs? This is a completely lateral move in my opinion as with this move you take away time the Jones/McGehee as their platoon would be effected with Jones seeing less time in the outfield. If you’re going to go out and take on salary for a rental outfielder why not at least go after one who profiles at the position and get an Alfonso Soriano type who has 18 homers, a .268 average, and 54 RBIs. Nutting has said the Bucs are ready to take on payroll so this is the kind of move that needs to be made; not a move for another outfielder whose glove is playing better than his bat right now. This is also disregarding Starling Marte who could fill the hole with no assets being given up once he starts showing consistency at AAA. I agree with Tim when he says that the team doesn’t “Need” to make a move to stay in the conversation for the playoffs. Just because the Victorino name is popular doesn’t make him a solution and overvaluing him because of that would be wrong.

      • joegoodman29

        Soriano would be great, at least as a power hitter. He’s a well below average fielder and I’m sure the Cubs would want us eating a large portion of that very large contract. Victorino would give you some great D, speed on the bases but no power hitting. He doesn’t hit for high enough average to be a lead off guy either. I wonder if the Indians would ever part with Shin-Soo Choo. Bats around .300, double digits HRs, He’s 2nd year arbitration eligible and under contract through 2014. Had a terrible year last year but has bounced back decently. I really think the Indians should be selling. Tigers are starting to roll and the White Sox are better than them as well…

        • Rick Peluso

          Choo would be interesting as you said he’s rebounded from a bad year and is only recently removed from two .300, 20+ home runs years which again fits more of a corner outfielder role versus a guy like Victorino or Pierre type. I agree the Indians should be sellers as they will not catch the Tigers and the AL wild card race looks very tight at the top, but if they would be willing to deal a player like Choo would remain to be seen. Again, like I said I’m looking for an offense first player over a defensive upgrade because at his lowest value Marte fills that defensive hole as some said he could push McCutchen to left. If you’re looking for a player you can control I don’t think you mortgage the farm system and go after Justin Upton, disregarding the fact that the DBacks are looking for major league ready talent, because it’s just far too costly over the long run. The long term goal should be to compete perennially and a massive deal like the ones Tim proposed for Upton just wouldn’t make sense for the organization going forward. I’d be much more interested in Jason Kubel from the DBacks if they became sellers because he’s absolutely raking this year, but I doubt Arizona is even contemplating moving him. Overall though if the goal if a low risk, salary take-on I say Soriano profiles as the ideal pickup, but he’s just one guy. I’d be interested to hear about other possibilities now that Quentin is off the market as teams are starting to place more value on their bats.

  • 12_Dr

    I feel like Headley would only be a small upgrade over Mcgeehee/Jones that combined with Pedro’s fielding is not enough of an upgrade to give away even just marte.

  • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

    The Bucs need a corner outfielder, not a third baseman. Ideally it’s Marte. He’s young, plays great defense and costs nothing in prospects. of course, that depends on if he is ready. A corner outfielder that produces offensively makes the team better. It puts Jones and Mcgehee back into a true platoon situation at first. Jones will rake against right handlers, Casey against lefties. This scenario has the potential of strengthening the bench, especially looking at late inning pinch hitting situations.

    • Todd Smith

      I would think if the Pirates bring in another outfielder (or promote Marte) it would take more playing time away from Presley than Jones.

      • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

        You are probably right, but that is an issue unless they find a true leadoff hitter via trade. Given the value placed on some of these rentals, I dont see it happening. Marte is not a true leadoff hitter. Maybe they would platoon him with Presley.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

    I agree with most of the post here already. I definitely see a lead off guy as the teams biggest need. It’s too bad the Presley isn’t getting the job done but would be a nice bench option. Secondly I would like to see an additional pitcher. As of now the only 3 guys I have faith in are Burnett, Karstens, and Correa. I know, Correa, but you can basically write down 3 runs and 6 innings everytime he pitches. Here’s to hoping J-Mac finds his command again, but I would definitely like to see another reliable arm (not Maholm) to sure things up.