Recently, there has been a considerable amount of buzz about how the Detroit Tigers might be interested in having a reunion with setup man/closer Joaquin Benoit, who is currently pitching for the San Diego Padres. If that is the case, the Tigers should consider asking the Padres about third baseman Chase Headley while they are at it.
Headley, whose name has been popping up in trade rumors for some time now, is a switch-hitter, and due to the fact that he could help balance an overwhelmingly right-handed Tigers’ lineup, some are beginning to suggest that he might be a fit in Detroit.
Throughout the entire season, switch-hitting Victor Martinez has been the sole left-handed bat that the Tigers have been able to depend on. However, it should be noted that left-handed hitting catcher Alex Avila has been marginally better as of late, and his .343 on-base percentage is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Plain and simple, though, the Tigers would really benefit from adding another left-handed bat, especially given the fact that Andy Dirks‘ rehab assignment was put on pause last week.
Admittedly, Headley is not having his best season, slashing just .229/.296/.355 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs through 77 games. Those numbers are a far cry from his 2012 campaign, when he boasted an impressive line of .286/.376/.498 with 31 homers and a league-leading 115 RBIs, helping him finish fifth in the NL MVP voting. Nevertheless, Headley could still help the Tigers in some capacity.
A third baseman by trade, Headley could spell Nick Castellanos at third base when the Tigers are facing tough right-handed starters. Headley also has some experience in the outfield, logging a total of 196 games in left field, but he has not played there since the 2009 campaign. It is not inconceivable, though, that the Tigers could consider giving him some reps out there, despite the fact that the outfield is rather crowded at the moment.
Headley is set to enter free agency after this season, so he may not fit into the Tigers’ future plans. But maybe, just maybe, he might be a nice piece of the puzzle this season. If the Tigers are trying to get Benoit, it might be worth it to ask what else it would cost to get Headley as part of the package. One way or another, the Tigers should be trying to find a way to throw another left-handed bat into the mix.