Buster Olney probably doesn’t know it yet, but CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Indians, Orioles, Pirates and at least two other teams have “some level of interest in” Padres third baseman Chase Headley.
The 28-year-old Headley should have been the Padres’ All-Star on merit. He’s hit .271/.373/.421 with eight homers, 42 RBI and 10 steals this season. Last year, he hit .330/.399/.465 outside of Petco Park, and he’s at .275/.378/.471 in road games this year.
The Padres are sure to put a high price on Headley. He’s making a modest $3.475 million this year and probably won’t get much more than $5 million in arbitration next year. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2014 season.
Pittsburgh would certainly be an interesting destination for Headley. The Padres would surely like to get their hands on a couple of the Pirates’ better pitching prospects, and the Pirates would stand to upgrade not only their offense but also their defense by moving Pedro Alvarez to first base.
Alas, he’d probably help the Dodgers more than any other team. Not only have they gotten little out of third base, but Headley has hit .327/.409/.509 in 110 career at-bats at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.