As far as trade rumors are concerned, they’re constantly surrounding smaller market teams. When stars emerge in these smaller markets, the assumption is that they will not be able to retain them for long, leaving a lasting cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.
This is the case in regard to the San Diego Padres and third baseman Chase Headley. The Padres recently placed Headley on trade waivers, which is a pretty common procedure at this point in the year. Trade rumors have surrounded him for the last couple of years, though, which could mean an August trade is on the horizon.
Headley is set to become a free agent in 2015. At that point, it might be tough for the Padres to keep him around. Third base isn’t exactly a deep position around the league, and players of Headley’s caliber are tough to come buy. Several teams would be in that bidding, particularly those in the large markets.
Which is why the Padres could look to deal him. If he passes through waivers, he’s eligible to be traded this month. The Padres could wait until the winter to do so, but a playoff contender looking to add that final piece may not be willing to wait until then.
Headley’s in a bit of a down year, so they may have to wait until the winter to get a better return. His average has dipped down to .237, but that isn’t helped by the fact that his BABIP has gone from .368 and .337 in the last two seasons, respectively, to only .315 this year. His strikeout rate is higher as well, and his home runs are down dramatically.
None of those things are figures that indicate Headley is one of the better third basemen in the league. But teams know what he did in 2011 and 2012, so there will be plenty of takers for him if the Padres choose to shop him. At this point, it could simply be a matter of whether or not he’s moved this month or this winter.