Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Pablo Sandoval collected a payday of nearly $100 million from the Red Sox. Now Chase Headley is primed to cash in with a meaty contract of his own.
No, Headley won’t be looking at a deal approaching nine figures like the Panda did, but with Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez both headed to Boston, the 30-year-old now represents the best −only? − third baseman available on the free-agent market this winter.
The Yankees remain interested in bringing Headley back to the Bronx, where he hit .268/.371/.398 in 58 games, a stark improvement from the .229/.296/.355 slash line he posted in 77 games with the Padres before being traded to the Bombers.
Headley was believed to be seeking a three-year deal when the offseason began, but now that Sandoval and Ramirez have scored deals of five and four years, respectively, Headley − a better defender than Sandoval, although a slightly lesser offensive weapon − is likely to land himself a four-year deal worth $56 million-$60 million according to two industry sources.
I finally got around to starting my 2015 CAIRO projections, which are probably not ready for release quite yet, but they peg Headley to hit something like .254/.348/.414 with 18 HRs over 594 PA as a Yankee in 2015, which would be worth about 2.5 wins above a replacement level 3B. If you believe DRS, he projects to save about seven runs over an average 3B defensively. If you lean more towards UZR, he’s closer to 10 runs above average defensively.
Let’s say he’s a 3.5 win 3B right now, and would likely lose about 0.6 wins per year. A four year deal for Headley gets you about 10 WAR. What’s the fair market rate for that? Apparently it’s $56-60 million which seems reasonable. I think I’d do it if I were the Yankees, although if I were the Yankees there’s a whole bunch of other crap I’d be doing as well.