The Padres completed their second trade in four days, this time taking aim at reducing payroll rather than adding prospect inventory. San Diego dealt third baseman Chase Headley to the Yankees for 27-year-old rookie third baseman Yangervis Solarte and righthander Rafael De Paula, who is repeating the high Class A Florida State League.
The Yankees owe Headley, a pending free agent, approximately $3 million for the remainder of the season after receiving $1 million from the Padres in the deal. He moves to the top of the Yankees depth chart, supplanting Kelly Johnson and Zelous Wheeler.
The Padres effectively doubled their payroll to $91 million over the course of the past three seasons, but they entered play Tuesday at 43-55 and 11 1/2 games behind the leader in the National League West (though ahead of the Diamondbacks and Rockies in the standings). They kick-started the sell-off by trading closer Huston Street to the Angels over the weekend, netting prospects Taylor Lindsey, Jose Rondon, R.J. Alvarez and Elliot Morris in the exchange.
Yangervis Solarte, 3b/2b
Age: 27. Bats: B.
Solarte switch-hits and has started at second and third base, but he lacks a carrying tool to secure his major league future. As a result, he spent his first eight pro seasons mired in the minors. Solarte hit .294/.363/.458 with six homers through his first 50 games with the Yankees, but he had been in free-fall ever since. If he gets back to what made him effective—a contact-oriented, line-drive hitting approach—he could become a valuable multi-position player, one who swings with more authority from the left side. The Solarte acquisition helps the Padres fill in for the loss of Headley and second baseman Jedd Gyorko (disabled list), while potentially buying time for second baseman Lindsey to get more reps at Triple-A before he’s called upon.
|2014||New York (AL)||MAJ||.258||75||252||26||65||14||0||6||31||30||34||0||.340||.385|
Rafael DePaula, rhp
As they did in the Street deal, the Padres acquired a strong-armed minor leaguer who profiles best in the bullpen. De Paula pitches at 92-94 mph with below-average secondary stuff, though his low-80s slider with flash average on occasion. He ranks third in the Florida State League with 104 strikeouts, but despite an athletic delivery and ample arm strength, he hasn’t yet shown the consistent feel on his pitches that would point to a future in the rotation. De Paula got a late start to his career after incurring a one-year suspension for using a false identity, and Major League Baseball still views his age as “undetermined.”
Chase Headley, 3b
Age: 30. Bats: B.
Service time (preseason): 5.123. Eligible for free agency after season.
Headley will no doubt look forward to playing in a new home park after hitting just .243/.331/.372 in nearly 1,800 career plate appearances at Petco Park. He has hit .286 and slugged .444 away from San Diego for his career, and he recovered from a slow start this year to bat .300/.325/.413 over the past four weeks. He may never show the type of power he did in 2012, when he hit 31 homers and led the NL with 115 RBIs, but he gets on base, has no platoon-split issues and plays strong defense.
|2014||San Diego (NL)||MAJ||.229||77||279||27||64||12||1||7||32||22||73||4||.296||.355|