Chase Headley is an impending free agent and the Padres in 34-45, so it makes sense that they’re shopping him and Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Blue Jays are interested in the 30-year-old third baseman.
Headley’s stock has plummeted since a breakout 2012 season in which he hit .286 with with 31 homers and an .875 OPS while leading the NL with 115 RBIs. Last season his OPS declined by 130 points and this year he’s hit .199 through 58 games while also missing time with a back injury that required an epidural injection last week.
He’s owed about $6 million for the remainder of this season and the Padres are currently without an actual general manager after firing Josh Byrnes, but Sanders speculates that they might just be willing to clear his salary off the books while acquiring a mediocre prospect in return.
Toronto is currently using Juan Francisco as its primary third baseman and he’s provided plenty of power with 12 homers and an .832 OPS in 57 games, but his defense is sketchy and his .302 career on-base percentage is always an issue.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.