Chase Headley trade rumors: Yankees showing interest in third baseman

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The Yankees have been scouting the struggling third baseman.

The New York Yankees have been regularly scouting San Diego Padres' third baseman and impending free agent Chase Headleyper Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

The Yankees, who are 2.5 games back in the AL East, are currently running out a third base platoon of Yangervis Solarte and Kelly Johnson. While Solarte still has a 108 OPS+ on the season, he has been dreadful since his blistering start. Since May 15th, the 26-year-old is hitting just .190/.271/.276. Over the past month alone, his OPS has dropped 88 points to a a season-low .746 mark. Johnson's performance has also dipped, as he is currently batting just .224/.300/.398 with a 92 wRC+ after posting a 101 wRC+ last season. Overall, the Yankees' offense has struggled, ranking 17th in the majors with a 93 wRC+ and 23rd with a 7.2 WAR. They've also hit just 69 home runs (22nd), which is surprising considering their offensively favorable home ballpark.

After posting MVP-like numbers in 2012 (7.2 WAR, 145 wRC+) and having another solid season last year (3.5 WAR, 113 wRC+), Headley has been awful this season. The 30-year-old has hit just .201/.289/.322 for a 79 wRC+ and .279 wOBA, though he has still been adequate defensively with a 5.1 UZR and three defensive runs saved.

While he has certainly struggled, Headley is a good bet to get better over the second half of the year as his .243 BABIP indicates some rather poor luck, and he has been hampered by injuries for much of the season. He also carries minimal risk for any acquiring team, as he is owed just about $6 million over the remainder of the season and probably won't require much more than a mid-level prospect to bring in.

The Yankees appear to not be alone among AL East squads looking at acquiring Headley, as the Toronto Blue Jays were linked to him over the weekend. As Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, Headley's market is "beginning to take shape", and there should be a substantial amount of interest in the Padres' star.

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