ORLANDO — The Yankees traded right-hander Bryan Mitchell and third baseman Chase Headley to the Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash on Tuesday morning, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. New York also sent $500k in cash to San Diego.
For the Yankees, the deal is a pure salary dump, as Headley is set to earn $13 million in 2018. New York’s recent acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton raised the team’s payroll significantly, so it comes as no surprise that Headley was moved just days after the club unloaded Starlin Castro’s contract in the Stanton trade.
San Diego essentially bought a prospect in Mitchell, a young starter, by taking on Headley’s contract for one year. Blash is considered a non-prospect with some power, so he’s a minimal return for the Yankees.
Headley, 33, returns to San Diego after spending the last three and a half years with the Yankees. Originally drafted by the Padres in 2005, Headley appeared in the majors with the club from 2007 to 2014 before being traded to New York in a deadline trade. He hit .273/.352/.406 with 12 homers in 147 games for the Yankees last year and will be a free agent at year’s end.
Headley will join Cody Spangenberg, Yangervis Solarte and Carlos Asuaje in the infield mix for the Padres, though it remains possible general manager A.J. Preller will look to flip him in the coming days. His departure from New York means the team has shipped out two veteran infielders since last week, causing many to believe a reunion with free agent Todd Frazier could come soon.
The real prize of the trade for San Diego is Mitchell, who is controllable through the 2021 season. The 26-year-old righty owns a career 4.94 ERA in 98.1 innings over parts of the last four major-league seasons. He has been an effective Triple-A starter for years, giving San Diego a controllable arm who could slot into its Opening Day rotation that currently is slated to include Clayton Richard, Travis Wood and multiple question marks.
Blash, 28, hit .213/.333/.341 with five homers in 61 major-league games for San Diego in 2017. His best tool is his power, as he smashed 20 homers at Triple-A this year and hit 32 dingers in the Mariners organization in 2015.