In a move that nobody saw coming — well, at least I certainly didn’t see it coming — Padres general manager AJ Preller scooped up third baseman Chase Headley and his entire salary from the Yankees, along with right-handed pitcher Bryan Mitchell, in exchange for cult hero Jabari Blash. Headley, as you may recall, came up through the Padres system and played the first six years and change of his big league career in San Diego before heading to the Bronx for Yangervis Solarte in July, 2014.big league career in San Diego
The enticement to acquire Headley and his contract was Mitchell, who seems like a classic project for pitching coach Darren Balsley. His minor league numbers as a starter have quite a shine, but he hasn’t impressed in parts of four seasons with the Yankees, mostly spent coming out of the bullpen.
If Headley is around on Opening Day — and honestly, who knows what Preller will do between now and then — he’ll be wearing a different number than the one he had last time he was around. His old number 7 is now worn by center fielder Manuel Margot, and Margot is one of just a few big league Padres who are all but certain to stay put. The 16 that Headley had as a rookie is now held by Travis Jankowski, but the 12 he wore in New York is up for grabs.