Sources say Headley for Upton swap has been discussed
You just never know what you might come across on the internet. Today a brief post on MLBTR really caught my attention. Citing “major league sources,” Zach Links writes that a potential deal involving Padres 3B Chase Headley going to the Diamondbacks in exchange for OF Justin Upton has been discussed on and off since last July.
That rumored deal probably made a lot more sense this summer than it does now given Headley is coming off a career season in which he was the NL Gold Glove recipient and won a Silver Slugger award. Upton meanwhile is coming off a down year in which he posted an OPS mark of .785. That’s a full 90 points less than that posted by Headley.
Assuming the reports are true, the rumor does make some sense. Arizona has been clamoring for a long-term answer at 3B and have been entertaining offers for Upton for quite some time. Arizona GM Kevin Towers drafted Headley when he was GM of the Friars and presumably still holds him in high regard. Padres GM Josh Byrnes was the GM in Arizona when the club signed Upton to his first professional contract. (Note: Byrnes was hired as the Arizona GM in November of 2005 and Upton was drafted by the club in June of that year. However Upton didn’t sign until January 6, 2006 when Byrnes was the GM.)
The Padres do have top prospect Jedd Gyorko they could install at 3B should they deal Headley and the Diamondbacks have a plethora of OF options if they find a deal involving Upton to their liking.
Headley is arbitration eligible and has been projected by Matt Swartz of MLBTR to earn $8.3MM on his third trip through the process. Upton is under contract for three more seasons at a total cost of $38.5MM. It’s likely that Headley would earn less than that total for the same period of time.
The potential move does make at least some sense on some levels but at this point I find it unlikely any deal involving those two players goes through this winter. Headley’s trade value has never been higher, he’s almost certain to cost less for at least the next two seasons of team control that remain and the Padres seem otherwise set at the OF position.
While you chew on that little tidbit, I will get back to work on some research. Since I hate to rely solely on first impressions I will post a piece at a later date comparing Upton and Headley in a more detailed manner.