With the Toronto Blue Jays losing 8 of their last 10 games, the trade rumours involving the team have once again heated up. Add in the injury to Edwin Encarnacion, the lingering effects of Jose Bautista‘s sore hamstring’s, plus the teams overall offensive swoon and you can see why the myriad of problems has the Blue Jays linked to trade rumours.
One of the names heavily linked to the Blue Jays recently is San Diego Padres third basemen Chase Headley. Fox Sports analysts Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal report that talks between the two teams have increased since some within the Jays brass feel their biggest need is a bat, not pitching.
Talks between Padres, Blue Jays on Chase Headley remain ongoing, source says. Toronto’s need increased in light of Encarnacion injury.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 7, 2014
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 7, 2014
With Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos proclaiming that he would prefer to trade for “rental players” back in May to Peter Gammons, Headley would appear to be an ideal candidate for the Blue Jays with his contract up at season’s end.
Although Headley has not hit the ball very well since his monster 2012 campaign, he is still a great third basemen defensively. The other upside of potentially acquiring Headley is that he will allow Brett Lawrie to move over to second base full-time - filling a visible hole for Toronto.
Headley himself has admitted that he has struggled at the plate this season, but a recent change of his grip might have helped him right the ship according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock.
Headley has raised his BA 28 points since July 1. He’s gone back to his old grip, the one that allows him to control the barrel better.
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) July 8, 2014
Or maybe just a change of scenery to a contender would further spark him at the plate? Hitting in front of, or behind the likes of Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacaion would almost certainly excite any player in the MLB. But for a player like Headley, an increase of runners on base would more than likely change the way pitchers approach him. With runners on base, Headley would more than likely see more fastballs on a regular basis.
But is Headley the only player Toronto is interested in from San Diego?
What about starting pitcher Ian Kennedy? Kennedy is set to become a free agent at year’s end and could he be part of a package with Headley if the Jays desired. Or maybe relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit intrigues the interest of the Blue Jays front office? Either way, the Padres seem like a perfect trade partner for the struggling Blue Jays.
With the New York Yankees roster ravaged by injuries again, you can bet that they will be kicking the tires on Chase Headley too in the coming weeks. While the Yankees don’t boast the same kind of assets the Blue Jays do, acquiring a player like Chase Headley is something both organizations are more than capable of doing. But with the AL East slipping away from the Blue Jays each day, the pressure will be on Toronto – not New York – to make a move sooner, rather than later.