The trade stream of consciousness between the Cubs and Padres continues. Earlier I talked about Chicago and San Diego matching up to trade James Russell and Nate Schierholtz to the Friars for pitching prospects. Now that the Padres have been unable to hammer out an extension with Chase Headley, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that San Diego would take phone calls to consider offers on their starting third baseman.
Headley is under team control through 2014, but having survived trade rumors in the past, it appears the Padres are open to dealing him away should the team not be able to lock him up to a long term deal prior to his walk year. The downside for the NL West members is that Headley had a bit of a down year in 2013, this after bouncing back from injury in 2011 to post a solid campaign in 2012. That year Headley hit .286 with a .376 OBP while leading the league with 115 RBI to go along with his 31 home runs. The power and run production dropped to 13 long balls and 50 RBI even in just 20 less games played in 2013.
The Padres would be selling low were they to deal Headley now, but it would be interesting to see a possible Russell and Schierholtz deal expanded to receive Headley as well. The Cubs could potentially include the likes of Josh Vitters and/or Mike Olt, among others. While Vitters’ progress is a bit concerning considering he did not even earn a September 2013 call up after a late season cup of coffee in 2012, the fact remains that the aging third baseman by prospect standards is still on the 40 man roster.
Why would the Cubs deal for a third baseman with Kris Bryant on the fast track to the Majors? There are some that believe that Bryant’s big frame will be better suited for the outfield, and it never hurts to acquire a known quantity to fill a void. After having interest in Headley in the past, the Cubs organization could see this as an opportunity to buy low on a veteran hot corner man that has proven to produce in the past.
Hot stove talk involving the Cubs has been on low heat, but there are needs on both the Cubs and Padres that could prove to provide legs to mere speculation in the coming weeks. It is a matter of when, not if, as to the North Siders ramping up their participation in the wheeling and dealing, and that process could include finally landing a previous trade target in Headley.