With the addition of a second wild card team for each league, the decision to be a buyer or seller at the trade deadline becomes a bit more difficult, despite it being just two weeks away. For the San Diego Padres, however, the decision is neither difficult nor complicated. Sitting 14 games out of both first place in the NL West and the final wild card slot, the Padres will most definitely be sellers over the next two weeks and while collectively, they can’t seem to put it all together, individually there’s some value to be had. It’s time to bring the jalopy to the chop shop and make some money selling off the parts.
Chase Headley |3B,OF| Ownership: ESPN – 67.3% Yahoo – 52.0%
The latest reports coming from ESPN’s Jim Bowden are that six teams are currently involved in trade discussions with the Padres for Headley who will, in all likelihood, be traded by the July 31st non-waiver deadline. Further speculation has it at the Pirates, Indians, Dodgers, Orioles, Diamondbacks and at least one mystery team as the parties interested, and a move to any one of them should be considered an upgrade. Headley is, more than likely, owned in your deeper leagues, but if you play in any mixed league of 12 teams or fewer, there’s a strong chance that he is available. If he does get dealt to any one of the aforementioned teams, you are already looking at a significant upgrade for Headley based on surrounding lineup and ball park factors.
During his two and a half seasons in the minors, Headley showed solid power potential, posting an ISO north of .245 in both Double and Triple-A, but has been stifled during his time in the majors due to Petco Park and how it saps the power of left-handed hittters. Now granted, Headley is a switch-hitter, but he spends most of his time hitting from the left side and has compiled a career slash line of .272/.358/.401 with 31 home runs, 158 RBI and a 0.46 BB/K which is a far stronger batting line than the one from the right side. For him to go to a ballpark that even plays neutral to lefties would be an improvement and you’re likely to see a nice boost in overall power totals as only 17 of his 46 career home runs have come in San Diego. He won’t suddenly blossom into this incredible power hitter, but over two months time, you’re liable to see enough of a surge that will certainly be of help to your championship run down the stretch.
Jedd Gyorko |2B, 3B| Ownership: ESPN – 0.0% Yahoo – 0.0%
So this would be the corresponding move to a Headley trade and is obviously contingent on a deal getting done. But the fact that Gyorko has been moved off second base and onto third for Triple-A Tuscon is definite foreshadowing of an impending deal. True, Gyorko is a natural second baseman, but with Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe still playing well enough to handle duties at the keystone, the club can afford to make this move now and see where it goes over the next two months. If Gyorko’s defense isn’t up to par, the club can easily shift him back in plenty of time for the 2013 season.
Offensively, Gyorko seems ready. He’s moved up through the system fairly quickly, and has shown outstanding plate discipline at each level. Solid walk rates, respectable strikeout rates, fantastic OBP marks all in conjunction with head-turning ISO totals. True, his 7.0% walk rate is the lowest it’s ever been, but so is his strikeout rate, which gives him a BB/K comparable to years past. He’s likely getting a bit of help from the hitter-friendly PCL, so don’t expect him to put up such lofty power numbers, but if he can come up with six to eight home runs here in the second half, he’ll certainly be a solid asset for fantasy owners. Keep tabs on him if you need help at either second or third, depending on his eligibility in some leagues, especially if you’re in a keeper league. Once Gyorko is up, chances are the Padres will have him here to stay.
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