Chase Headley has joined an exclusive company with regards to the worst investments in New York Yankees history.
The New York Yankees got ahead of themselves like they have with many of their sizable offers in recent history. This one is a lot more painful to watch than many of the others.
Chase Headley came to Bronx mid-2014 with the Yanks desperate for some third base stability. He proved himself more than serviceable right off the bat. He showed a flare for the dramatic with two walk-offs and proved to the team that he had restored his gold glove capabilities.
Let’s just say the front office got a bit too excited.
It was perfect. The Yankees needed someone to be their everyday third baseman with Alex Rodriguez no longer being that guy. In fact, coming off a 162 game suspension with two bum hips that would leave him as a full-time DH.
Headley, although carrying a history of injury and only one real all-star season along with him, was the guy. On December 15, 2014, Brian Cashman quite possibly handed out the worst four-year deal he ever has.
If the Yankees expected anything extraordinary from Headley or even the slight flash of brilliance at the end of 2014, they were sadly mistaken.
Talk about a gold glove? Headley committed a career-high 23 errors, the worst in the MLB for a third baseman, in 2015. He put on display a shot-put for an arm and an unstable glove. He looked lost at third base.
Serviceable with the bat? In 156 games, Headley slashed a distasteful .259/.324/.369 with only 11 home runs in a ballpark he was supposed to thrive in.
For the first year of a contract, the Yankees hoped would be a success, Headley severely failed. The only hope was that 2016 would be a different story. It has not.
Through 19 games in 2016, the Yankees’ everyday third baseman is slashing a dismal .150/.268/.150 with no home runs and two runs batted in. He ranks as worst in the MLB in OPS (.418) for third basemen.
It gets worse. Headley is supposed to serve as a reliable switch-hitter that can space out a Yankee lineup susceptible to left-handed pitching. When facing left-handers this year, meaning batting from the right side in his case, he is 3-33 (.091) with no runs batted in.
Offspeed pitches, particularly sliders and curves, have been Headley’s downfall. His long, loopy swing has been no match for breaking balls. Since the start of 2015, according to Brooks Baseball, Headley has gone 17-116 (.147) with 50 strikeouts and only one home run when thrown a slider or hook.
You can try to break it down any way you want. These are unacceptable numbers. It is turning into a contract that the Yankees are simply wrapped into.
Usually, a rough April for a formidable hitter means they are batting around the .200 mark and their power production is down. Headley has produced absolutely nothing. A month’s work gone to waste describes his April.
If you go with Headley’s career numbers in pinstripes, he has only managed 17 homers in 233 games and a mere .410 slugging percentage. In addition, the hopes that he would lock down third base have been thrown in the trash. In 225 games manning the hot corner for the Yankees, his fielding percentage is a subpar .956.
The organization will have a tough time admitting it, but this has turned into a disaster of a deal. A player worth $5-7 million at best in today’s game stamping $13-million annually onto the club’s payroll.
Chase Headley will most definitely be given the chance to rebound. However, it is looking more and more like a painful remaining three years for both a declining player and the Yankees.
All this culminates to is a $52 million dollar mistake.