Soon-to-be free agents Chase Headley and Chris Denorfia might not be Padres teammates for long. The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly showing interest in both players, according to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, and that isn't the only potential destination for the two Padres hitters.
The Blue Jays, who have been plagued by injuries but are still in the playoff hunt while playing in the unusually weak AL East, have holes at third base and in the outfield, which makes Headley and Denorfia logical fits.
Headley has struggled through a tough season, but he's rebounding just in time for trade season, with a .323 batting average in July. And yet, some warning signs still surround the Padres third baseman. Despite his improved performance, he has 16 strikeouts in 65 at-bats this month—with no walks. He's also homered once since June 14, and his season OBP still sits below .300.
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But that likely won't dissuade the Jays. 27-year-old corner infielder Juan Francisco is currently manning the hot corner, and though he has been serviceable this season, with a .234/.309/.502 line across 230 plate appearances, the Jays would likely prefer the presence of a veteran hitter with a history of success. Plus, just as Headley is trending upward, Francisco is slumping majorly, with a .286 OBP in July that is a carryover from his .169/.217/.369 line in June.
If the Jays don't choose to pursue Headley, other teams certainly will. The Yankees have been an oft-mentioned suitor for the third baseman, and the team's lack of an established player at his position, combined with a ballpark that would be a welcome switch from the expansive Petco Park, might make Headley a prime choice to move to New York. Given the Blue Jays' and Yankees' nearly identical records, each team could make a bigger push than usual to acquire Headley's services—for the sake of bringing him on as much as keeping him away from the other.
In addition to Headley, the Jays are pursuing Denorfia, a .275 career hitter who can play all three outfield positions. Though his numbers have dipped this year, Denorfia would likely still be a favorable upgrade from Anthony Gose, who has registered five extra-base hits and driven in six runs in 140 plate appearances.