We're over a month removed from Phillies baseball, and frankly, I'm bored. Sure, there's football (other than the Iggles) and a time of gross over-eating coming up, but I want Phillies news. I crave it. I fully expected Ruben Amaro to have made some crazy trade by now that would make me hate-love him even more. Instead, I'm forced to glue myself to Twitter and MLB Network to get some shred of news to hang on to. That's how I came across the above slide.
I apologize for the poor quality, but I had to take a quick shot of this intriguing idea. Al Leiter (NJ native and NL East pitcher for a 10-year period, now an analyst), while creating a list of needs for your Phillies this offseason, proposed a trade in which the team would acquire Padres third basemen Chase Headley. In return, the Phils would ship prospects Cody Asche (3B) and Trevor May (RHP). At first, I had no idea what to think of this trade. But it got me thinking. Let's break it down.
If you haven't noticed, the Phillies have lost quite a lot of their farm system over the last few seasons. Some of those names include Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cozart, and Kyle Drabek. While they haven't made major league splashes yet, Singleton and Cozart seem primed to be productive players. And while Drabek had a depressing showing for the Blue Jays, there is still time for him to heat up. In the trades for names like Oswalt, Halladay, and Lee, several other prospects have been lost as well. Sending away two more doesn't seem like a good idea. Then again...
Chase Headley has turned himself into quite the player in the last few seasons. Now, I'm no expert, but I've been proud to pick Headley up on my fantasy teams the last three years. All kidding aside, he's been impressive. In the Hundred Acre Woods that is PETCO Park, Headley has played nearly every game in three of the last four seasons (he spent some time on the DL in 2011). He added 20 home runs to his season high this past season (31), hit for a .286 average, and posted an appealing 115 RBIs while receiving some MVP votes. And if the Padres had finished in contention, I believe Headley could have given Posey a run for his money. Again, he did this in San Diego, a ballpark that was 28th overall in HRs per game at 0.628. Citizens Bank Park, 11th overall, gave up 1.087, nearly 1 HR difference for every 2 games played. He had 5 more HRs and 13 more RBIs on the road. Since the Padres only come to town once a year, there isn't a very reliable sample size for Headley at CBP. But, I believe it is safe to assume Headley would be quite a stud in town. Not to mention, he has a solid glove at the hot corner. However, is he worth two more prospects?
Cody Asche and Trevor Mare both young guys with obvious potential. In fact, Trevor May was ranked #69 on Baseball America's pre-2012 Prospect Ratings List. I'd say that's pretty good. As you can see by the graphic, he posted a high ERA, but had a terrific K/9 ratio. The strikeouts are a mainstay for May, as he's had a K/9 ratio over 9 for all but his first season in the minor leagues. To me, his numbers are reminiscent of Ryan Madson's. This could be good or bad, depending on your outlook. It in no way means he will emerge as a formidable late-inning thrower. Being so young, he still has the chance to be a stud starting pitcher. He could also be a dud. But from my perspective, he will amount to a bullpen all-star, possibly even a closer. We have one of those. For a long time. For a lot of money. What was I saying?
Right. Trevor May. I'm not opposed to getting rid of him. But let's not forget that right-handed pitching comes along quite a lot in the major leagues. Plus, the Phillies have guys like Mike Stutes that still have just as much potential. May just does not seem very important to the team right now.
Cody Asche is a different story. He hits for average with a bit of pop. Of course, we have only two seasons of Asche. But I see it as a good sign that his measly .194 average in 2011 jumped to over .300 this year, while his HR and RBI total also skyrocketed. If I were to pick an area of concern, it would be his defense. A .948 fielding percentage is not the greatest stat. There is room for improvement, though. His numbers are not blindingly impressive. However, there is reason to believe Asche could become a solid major league player. While Asche is 22 and just getting started, Headley is 28 and well-established. I guess what I'm saying is, I'll take 5-6 solid years of Headley over a risky move with Asche. But that's just my opinion.
Of course, this is complete speculation. There is no guarantee that the Padres would be willing to accept this offer. Just before the trade deadline this season, the team was high on their third baseman, and was asking for quite a lot in return. It is highly possible that their demands have dropped. It's also speculation that Ruben would even be interested. Then again, WWRD? (What wouldn't Ruben do?) This is the same guy that got Cliff Lee twice, as well as Roy Halladay, both as Christmas miracles. I don't think anyone truly knows what he is thinking at any moment. Again, getting off topic.
Would I be happy if this trade went through? Absolutely. Do I think it will? Probably not. The Padres more than likely still want way too much for Headley, and the Phillies just aren't that desperate. But it's fun to think about. I mean, who wouldn't want a Chase-Chase force in your lineup? The more realistic option here would be Kevin Youkilis. As I wrote previously, THE YOUK would come relatively cheap. He isn't on the same level as Headley, but he'd be an improvement over some of our recent third basemen.
What do you guys think of the trade? What other trades could you come up with? Let us know.
Follow Andrew Gillen on Twitter @BIG_G_48