PIRATES STILL VERY INTERESTED IN HEADLEY
Despite Pedro Alvarez turnaround at the plate, the Pirates remain very interested in San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley who TIOPS Pirates insider John Perrotto reported in mid-June was a player Neal Huntington was pushing hard for.
Jon Heyman of CBSsports reports that the Pirates are among seven teams in the hunt for Headley. Heyman reports other known teams in the mix include the Dodgers, Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks.
To no surprise Headley is coveted in a weak hitting market. “In a weak hitting market Headley, 28, brings a lot of plusses, ” Heyman writes. “The switch hitter makes a reasonable $3.475 million and remains under team control through 2014. He has a career .811 OPS on the road (compared to .666 at PETCO Park), showing his hitting ability goes beyond his overall numbers. He has a .794 OPS overall this year, with eight homers, 41 RBI and a .271 batting average.”
The Pirates are said to still be making their woeful on-base percentage a top priority. Headley is third in the NL in walks with 49 and the Pirates are dead last in the NL with a .298 OBP.
Where the Pirates would intend to play Headley remains to be seen, but it’s believed the team eyes him to play right field this year then back to third next year with Alvarez moving to first. He has started 80 games at third baseman and one at first base. He didn’t appear in any games at first base last season. Headley has two more years of arbitration eligibility before he can become a free agent following the 2014 season. Pirates owner Bob Nutting has given Huntington permission to add to the payroll in an attempt to make a playoff push.