Originally posted on Dempsey's Army  |  Last updated 8/3/12
It's been a while since I've seen Oriole fans clamoring for a player that is not an impending free agent and the player they are clamoring for is not exactly a household name. He is San Diego third baseman Chase Headley.

Admittedly, I didn't know tons about the guy and while the Orioles need help at third base, didn't understand the hype. So with some assertions from other fans in my Twitter feed, I set out to find out a little more about him.

Here are three assertions made about Headley and why he is worthy of trading Oriole prospects for:

1. Chase Headley will hit better once he leaves Petco.

This is likely true. But the degree to which it is true is a different matter.

Lefthanded hitters do not really hit that much better once they leave the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez is the perfect example. While his offensive prodcution improved a tick between 2010 and 2011 (152 OPS+ up to 154 OPS+) there was not the dramatic explosion of offensive prodcution that was predicted. You still have to factor in the switch from the NL to the AL, especially the AL East. The AL still has more talent than the NL and is the clearly the tougher league. If you doubt that, look at what David Hernandez and Brad Bergesen have done in Arizona compared to their Oriole careers.

So if Headley came to Camden Yards, his offensive numbers may indeed improve but with the change of leagues they are probably going to be very much like the numbers he puts up now. So he's a lefthanded bat with good plate discipline and modest power. We're talking about 12-18 homers and .425 slugger whether he's in Petco or not.

He is likely to hit very much like he has over the past three season with some slight improvement with his power:

2010-2012 .272 .353 .395 111

2. He's a superior defensive third baseman

I admit that I have not seen a lot of Headley in the field. So I looked to Fangraphs and got UZR/150's for the last three years at third base.

A. Beltre 13.9
K. Kouzmanoff 12.3
P. Polanco 12.2
E. Longoria 10.1
C. Headley 9.5
A. Callaspo 9.0

Of the qualified players, he's right on the cusp of the top third of third baseman in defense. It was pointed out to me that his total defensive numbers include his time in left field which brings the number down.

So my assertion that Headley is an average defender is pretty off base. He is not a elite defender but few are and he is among the best in MLB.

(BTW, Kevin Kouzmanoff's bat didn't improve after he got out of Petco. He's in Omaha now.)

3. He's an All-Star

No. No, he's not.

Headley probably deserved to be an All-Star in 2012 but he wasn't and never has been. His All-Star status was touted by more than one person on Twitter but he is not actually an All-Star player. Not that this fact means much.

Now, here's the commodity quantified; Chase Headley is a 29-year old (in 2013), slick-fielding third baseman with good plate discipline and slightly above-average offensive skills (I am predicting an OPS+ of about 110 in the AL over the next three years, just for reference).

That is a valuable commodity.

But how valuable is it for the Orioles? According to Dan Connolly, the Padres were looking for Jake Arrieta, plus two other prospects including a high-ceiling guy.

Is Headley worth all that?

Whatever your feeling are on Jake Arrieta, it's not as if the Orioles are flush with pitching and Arrieta is not without value. In fact, even with his struggles, Arrieta is still second on the team in terms of xFIP and his peripheral stats are quite similar to Wei-Yin Chen's. Arrieta can still be a useful starter for this team.

So it's questionable, but arguable, that Arrieta alone is too much to give up for Headley. What's scarcer? A decent young starting pitcher or a third baseman with a slightly above average bat approaching 30? It's a close call but I would probably side with the pitcher on that count.

But to give up two more prospects in addition to Arrieta? Boy, that seems like too much to give up for a guy like Headley.

And what does Headley do for this team? He'll help with run prevention surely. He'll likely be an offensive upgrade over Wilson Betemit (although not as much as you might expect). But he is not a game changer at the plate or in the field. Not enough to improve the prospects of this team for this season or the next two, not by himself.

The Orioles have scored 4.2 runs per game, tied for 10th in the AL in scoring. They are ties for 11th in runs allowed. They have been outscored by a whopping 60 runs this season and are still 5 games over .500. It is crazy that they are where they are in the standings, with even a hint of a chance at a playoff spot. It's been magical and fantastic and I've enjoyed every bit of it.

But this team is not a serious playoff contender this season nor will they likely be next season, not without some improvements to the starting rotation and some better bats in the lineup. One player will have far less impact on the offensive and the pitching than improvements from players already here or young players coming up through the system.

The Oriole farm system is too shallow to be making deals for a guy like Headley right now. Sure, if you can spin off a couple minor league relievers for a guy like J.J. Hardy and extend him, you do it every time. But you can't trade away legitimate prospects or pitchers who can help you in the majors in the near future for a short term improvement to the team.

Not to mention, there are other solutions out there if you get creative. The Orioles could make a run at David Wright (unlikely but he'll be out there). Or they could platoon a better fielder with Wilson Betemit. Brandon Inge could be a nice left/right platoon and improve the defense at third. Or slide Robert Andino over to third base against lefty pitchers. Or hell, pick up Kevin Kouzmanoff on a minor league deal and platoon him with Betemit. (Chase Headley may be an All-Star away from Petco as many fans have told me but Wilson Betemit is an All-Star if you don't let him hit against left handed pitching.)

All I'm saying is, the price to get Headley is way too high right now. Maybe that price drops in the offseason and I'll feel differently. But while he's a logical target for the team, I don't get the hype.

Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Tony Romo likely out 8-10 weeks

Late appeal moves NFL concussion settlement to the Supreme Court

NHL adds meldonium to banned substances list

Report: Chances of Jonathan Papelbon signing ‘non-existent’

Chris Bosh isn’t pleased with the Miami Heat


NFL clears players in HGH investigation

NFL execs: Kaepernick 'traitor,' hated as much as Carruth

Kansas FB settling first-team reps with Rock-Paper-Scissors

Report: Vikings trainers saved Bridgewater's 'leg and career'

Baylor WR suspended 3 games for beating his dog

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about worst game of career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

Kevin Owens is the right WWE Champion at the right time

Jake Arrieta almost quit baseball before trade to Cubs

Fred Taylor: NFL doctors never told me about multiple injuries

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about the worst game of his career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker