It’s musical chairs for teams pursuing Adam LaRoche, Derrek Lee

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals, Orioles and Padres are pursuing both Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee.

Two seats, three teams playing the game. I guess it’s a shame that Lance Berkman thought it was a good idea to become a right fielder, because then everyone could have their second-tier first baseman.

As it is, you have to figure that the Nats and Orioles are more likely destinations. Partially because they may be more willing to spend money than the Padres, but also because Petco Park is a way tougher place to hit than Camden Yards or Nationals Park. Both LaRoche and Lee are probably looking at one-year deals during which they’ll want to build value.  Having their power numbers crater due to moving to San Diego and facing the Giants and the Dodgers pitching staffs 36 times or whatever it is can’t seem too tempting.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.