For years Padres fans have heard how the Yankees have been interested in Chase Headley. Whether any of those rumors were true or not, the Bronx club now has him. The Yankees acquired Headley in exchange for INF Yangervis Solarte and RHP Rafael De Paula. The Padres also sent $1 million in cash to New York to offset some of Headley's salary.
The Padres 3B was due to become a free agent after the season. Recently Interim GM A.J. Hinch mentioned that the Padres could hold on to Headley and then make him a qualifying offer after the season. The qualifying offer would be a 1 year contract offer in excess of $14 million that if turned down would guarantee the Padres a first round draft pick. What that means is that Headley's trade value needed to exceed that of a 2015 first round draft pick. Getting these two young players in return did that for the club in Hinch's mind.
Headley's name is all over the Padres' record books after parts of 8 seasons with the club. Only 5 players have appeared in more games as a Padres than him. Only 4 have more hits with the Padres than he does. Only 3 hit more doubles. Just 7 have slugged more home runs. Merely 9 have driven in more runs. And, of course, he is the franchise leader in striking out.
In exchange, the Padres get back the two aforementioned players. One, Solarte, has played in 75 games this season. He started hot, hitting around .300 until the end of May, but has since cooled off. At 27 years old the Venezuelan is not young enough to truly be considered a prospect. However, he is still in his prime and has been showing that he can handle the stick perhaps better than most of the guys the Padres currently have. He can play 3B and 2B, but has played SS and the OF before. He will likely take over at 3B for at least the rest of the season.
The second player the Padres acquired is a 23 year old Dominican right handed starting pitcher. He was pitching with the Yankees Tampa farm club, which is the same level as the Lake Elsinore Storm. His strikeout rates are impressive, but his control needs work. John Sickels at Minorleagueball.com ranked him as the 16th best prospect in the Yankees' farm system before the season started. Reports indicate that while he may never make it as a starter, he has a fastball that is so good that he is bound to end up as at least a good bullpen guy.
With that, everyone say goodbye to Chase Headley. He had a good run with the Padres, but it was time to part ways. Given that at this point there was very little chance he would return to the club after this season I think most fans can be happy that the Padres got some players for the future in return. However, we can still debate whether the team could have gotten more.