The Chase Is On!

February 22, 2018

By Chris Ello, February 22, 2018


When Chase Headley played for the Padres the first time around, his dog of choice was a Westie. Headley was so fond of his pooch, he even told me one time I should get one. (My wife and I thought about it seriously before settling on a Maltese, if you must know).


From Westie, Chase Headley became an Eastie, traded in 2014 to the New York Yankees in exchange for Yangervis Solarte and a pitching prospect. Headley had fallen off big-time after his monster 2012 season in which he hit 31 home runs for San Diego, led the National League with 115 RBI’s and finished fifth in the voting for the NL’s Most Valuable Player. He also took home the Gold Glove at third base. A season-and-a-half later, sitting there with only 7 HR’s and a .229 batting average, Headley had to get up and pack his bags for the Big Apple.


New York, New York turned out to be so-so. Headley hit a combined 43 homers in his three-plus seasons there, batting only .243, .259 and .253 (he did get his average up to .273 last season but lost his starting job at third base by season’s end). After stealing 17 bases in 2012 for San Diego, he stole only 20 for New York – total. A bust on the big stage, the Yankees were only happy to send him back to where he started.


Headley, apparently, couldn’t be happier.


Third base is his for the moment, the Padres hoping he will recapture some of his previous glory. The Friars’ No. 1 pick out of the University of Tennessee 11 years ago, Headley if nothing else will provide leadership for a young team (Eric Hosmer won’t have to do that all by himself).


That is, if he stays here. General Manager A.J. Preller told Headley in so many words when he arrived back in America’s Finest City not to get too comfortable. Headley will be making $13-million this season (which is why the Yankees packaged him with pitcher Bryan Mitchell, sending him back to S.D.), and frankly, the Padres would love for some other team to pick up that tab.


For now, though, he’s the third baseman for the San Diego Padres. A Westie once again.