The New York Yankees were back at work on Tuesday, trading Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post was one of the first to break the news on Twitter.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 12, 2017
Chase Headley, 33, returns to the team he spent the first eight years of his career with. In parts of four seasons with the Yankees, the corner infielder slashed .262/.339/.387 with 43 home runs, 191 RBI and a .727 OPS.
Bryan Mitchell, 26, was constantly shuttled between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the Bronx, bouncing between the starting rotation and bullpen. Over 48 games with the Yankees (nine starts), he went 2-6 with a 4.94 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, striking out 44 in 98.1 innings of work.
The player the Yankees are getting back, 28-year-old outfielder Jabari Blash, owns a career .200/.323/.336 slash line over parts of two big-league seasons.
With an already crowded outfield picture that includes Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge and some guy named Giancarlo Stanton who you may have heard of, Blash has literally no chance of cracking the team’s Opening Day roster. He’s nothing more than organizational depth for the Yankees.
For the Yankees, this trade wasn’t about acquiring Blash. It was all about shedding Headley’s $13 million salary in 2018, the final season of a four-year, $52 million pact he signed before the 2015 campaign, as they look to get under the $197 luxury tax threshold.
Attaching a relatively young pitcher like Mitchell—who still has some upside—to Headley was the only feasible way that general manager Brian Cashman was going to be able to get a team to take the veteran infielder off his hands.
While moving Headley leaves a void at third base, the Yankees aren’t without options, both in-house and external.
The could look to prospects Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres to fill the role, though Torres is also a candidate to take over at second base for the recently departed Starlin Castro, who was part of the package the Yanks sent to Miami for Stanton.
They could look to re-sign a veteran they’re familiar with like Todd Frazier, who spent the second-half of the 2017 season in the Bronx and quickly endeared himself to his teammates and the fanbase.
Or they could be looking at another big deal, perhaps one involving Baltimore’s Manny Machado, who many have speculated the team would make a run at in free agency next winter and a player there has been plenty of trade chatter surrounding this week.
Whatever the Yankees next move may be, one thing is for sure—the Evil Empire is back and Cashman is the mad genius behind it all.