San Diego Padres Acquire Chase Headley as they Complete a Pair of AL East Trades

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: Chase Headley #12 of the New York Yankees takes batting practice prior to Game Seven of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 21, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It’s Day Two of the 2017 MLB Winter Meetings, and the San Diego Padres have been making a splash. Early on Tuesday, the Padres completed two trades with a pair of American League East teams, continuing what has already been an exciting week for baseball. First, San Diego worked out a deal with the New York Yankees, who made the biggest splash of the offseason just a few days ago. The Padres agreed to acquire pitcher Bryan Mitchell and infielder Chase Headley from New York, in exchange for outfielder Jabari Blash.

San Diego didn’t wait long to make their second move of the day. The ink had hardly dried on the Yankees trade before the Padres agreed to send infielder Ryan Schimpf to the Tampa Bay Rays, in exchange for minor league infielder Deion Tansel. The offseason is just getting started for all three teams, and it’s already a busy one.

Padres Complete Pair of AL East Trades

Headley Makes his Return

Headley, 33, will get a homecoming of sorts when he arrives in San Diego. The 10-year veteran began his career with the Padres, and played there until he was traded to the Yankees in 2014. He’s a career .264 hitter and has some power, but has only hit more than 14 home runs in a season once. That season, by far his best, came back in 2012, when he launched 31 long bombs and drove in 115 runners, while also putting up a .286 batting average.

Headley still has a good bat; he hit .273 in 2017, and collected a respectable 61 RBI. However, for the Padres, this trade was more about acquiring Mitchell, and was all about dumping salary for New York.

Mitchell, 26, has spent just three relatively unsuccessful years in the majors. The righty owns an ugly 4.94 career ERA. Yet, the Yankees thought highly of Mitchell; during Spring Training and through the early portion of the season, Mitchell was a candidate to take the final spot in New York’s rotation. While he didn’t make the cut, his upside remains intact. A change of scenery could help him tap into that upside. If he can, he could be a big part of San Diego’s future as he enters his prime years.

Blash, 28, probably won’t see much time with the Yankees. He’s played just 99 games at the major league level, and hasn’t done much to warrant extended playing time. He owns a .200 batting average, and has struck out 100 times in 235 at-bats. The Yankees outfield is crowded; if Blash stays in the majors, it will be in a bench role.

Schimpf heads to Tampa

Schimpf is a frustrating player. The 29-year-old has two years in the majors under his belt, and has some power. He has 86 hits in his career; 56 of those have either been doubles or home runs. Unfortunately, he’s the definition of a boom-or-bust player. His career batting average sits at a measly .195. He might be able to figure something out with the Rays, but he’s already almost 30. More than likely, this is just the player he is.

Tansel, 23, has never player above the Low-A level. He’s shown some ability as he has a .280 batting average and a .736 OPS in the minor league career. He might be a solid role player in the majors someday, but it’s too early to tell at this point.

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