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.