An Early Trade The Orioles Should Explore:

May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Going into the season it looked as though the Baltimore Orioles would be sellers this year, but after 39 games (or 1/4th the season), the Orioles are tied with the Dodgers with the most wins. Now there is still a long way to go, and it is unclear how long the Orioles can keep this up in the ultra competitive AL East, but what's clear is that the Orioles are very likely to be buyers this summer rather than sellers.

Now conventional wisdom for a surprisingly contending team would be to wait for the deadline before making any moves to ensure that they are still in the race. The problem with that philosophy is that by waiting that long it's possible that you are missing out on wins that could be crucial come September. If you traded for a player on May 31st as opposed to July 31st you'd have that player for an additional 50+ games (52 for the Orioles). From the Orioles perspective that is a difference of having a player for 110 games or 58 games. Now of course there is added risk as perhaps even having the player for the remaining 4 months of the season, won't be enough to maintain the Orioles in the playoff chase, but it could be a risk worth taking. It only makes sense for Baltimore if the player they are acquiring is under team control and can help the Orioles beyond this year, meaning for now rental players are out.

Given the Orioles weakened farm system and them likely avoiding rental players they won't likely be able to acquire a true impact talent, but that doesn't mean they can't get better. While pitching is the Orioles greater need right now, the price of pitching (especially non-rental players) is probably prohibitive for the Orioles. Baltimore may be able to find a moderate pitching upgrade or two for cheap at the deadline, but it will be far harder to try to buy pitching now, with so few teams really 'selling' right now. Instead the Orioles should attempt to find an upgrade at perhaps their weakest position, third base.

Not only are Mark Reynolds and Wilson Betemit leaving much to be desired offensively, but their combined defense (or lack there of) has cost the Orioles dearly. If the Orioles improved just slightly-moderately in both of these areas it would be a nice boost to their team. And given where the bar is set now, it won't be hard to overcome. Adding a third baseman could also help the production at DH, by moving Betemit and Reynolds there. Betemit despite being a switch hitter, has always had more success hitting right handed pitchers, and Reynolds hits lefties better than righties. Platooning them would be a good way to increase the Orioles offensive production. And having their bats in the line-up at a position where they can't hurt you defensively, will make the Orioles pitching staff very happy.

Now the question becomes who might be available for the Orioles to acquire. Most of the top third basemen are locked up long term, and aren't going any where. Many of the 2nd tier third basemen are also likely not to be on the market, but there is one name out there that makes some sense, and that is the Padres Chase Headley.

Why Headley Should Be Available:

Few teams are really looking to sell at this point in the season, but the Padres should be one of them. San Diego has the second worst record in baseball, and currently are 11.5 games out of first place, in what is by no means a tough division. San Diego has a bright future with one of the best minor league systems (and some good young talent at the major league level as well). Unfortunately most of their prospects are still a couple years away, so they are firmly in rebuilding mode.

Headley is a guy who will likely be moved in an effort to free up a little money and to make room for one of the Padres top young prospects, James Darnell. By trading Headley now the Padres can save about $2.4 million if they were to trade Headley now as opposed to $1.7 million if they were to wait till July 31st. Though the biggest benefit would be to give Darnell the regular at bats that he needs.

Why Headley Makes Sense for the Orioles:

Chase Headley makes perfect sense for the Orioles despite not being a traditional power hitting third baseman. He's in his 2nd of 4 arbitration years, so Baltimore, meaning the Orioles would have him for the next three post season runs. Also his arbitration figures shouldn't be too much, given that he isn't some top notch offensive force. His lack of glowing offensive numbers and the fact that most contenders are set at the hot corner, should keep his trade value reasonable as well.

The first thing that stands out for Headley is his defensive value. While Reynolds and Betemit are among the league's worst defenders at third base, Headley's among the league's best. Two year's ago Headley was in the mix for a Gold Glove award, and currently he's putting together another GG caliber year. Adding his range and defensive ability next to J.J. Hardy is going to turn that left side of the infield into an elite unit.

Headley also offers an offensive upgrade. While some traditionalists will point to Mark Reynolds 30-40 HR power as something that Headley will struggle to match 50% of, he's a better offensive weapon than Reynolds. Headley's slash line of .254/.388/.438 is better than both Reynolds' .191/.324/.337 and Betemit's .232/.294/.465. And while we've seen both Betemit and Reynolds put up better numbers in recent years, their potential improvement over Headley doesn't warrant their gloves at third (remember the O's can take advantage of their bats getting hot at the DH spot). Headley, who is a switch hitter, hits both righties and lefties fairly well, and offers decent speed on the base paths.

What's most impressive about Headley is the potential he could have once he gets out of Petco Park. For his career Headley has hit .231/.326/.339 at home, while hitting .301/.365/.446 on the road. Over the last two year's his OPS road numbers are even more impressive, with an .864 (which would have ranked 3rd among third basemen if it was a full season number) last year and a current mark of .933. That is a major difference in offensive production, and could see Headley's numbers skyrocket once he leaves Petco. His numbers would probably even see a greater boost by moving to Camden Yards which is one of the better offensive parks.

What Will It Cost?:

This is the major question for the Orioles as they can't afford to overpay for Headley. Now the Orioles will have to give up something of value to land Headley, and I think the most workable deal would be something in the neighborhood of:

OF Xavier Avery: With Nolan Reimold and Endy Chavez on the D.L. right now the Orioles might not be so willing to move Avery, but long term it makes sense. Assuming Reimold gets healthy, the O's outfield is pretty well set going forward, leaving little room for Avery. From the Padres perspective, Avery could be a leadoff hitter and left fielder for them. Now on most teams that would be a bad fit to have Avery in LF, but given how spacious Petco is, Avery could make sense there.

SP Tim Berry: Berry was a former prep standout from the San Diego area who fell in the draft due to injury. He looks to be back now and has nice upside, though he is a couple years away. He's just 21 and left handed, which is one of the few weak areas for the Padres. He's a solid 2nd piece to the deal, and is the type of guy who could payoff well into the future.

1B Tyler Townsend: The Orioles have some depth here so they could afford to trade a solid power prospect in Townsend. With the Padres trading away Anthony Rizzo this offseason, they really lack any minor league 1B prospects. He'd be a nice 3rd piece for them to pick-up in this deal.

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28 responses to An Early Trade The Orioles Should Explore:

  1. The O's can't trade X unless they lock up Adam long term. And even then, X has looked real good in his short time this year, and Rimold has never been able to stay healthy, and Chavez sucks. Avery has also shown some power this year, and I think his trade value will rise as he gains more high level experience and shows his skills. While headly would be a welcome addition and his away OPS numbers are extreamly intriguing, I think it makes more sense to keep X and move Andino to third once Roberts comes back.

    • Chavez is gone after this year anyways so he doesn't factor into the discussion. As for Avery, there would be some risk with locking up Jones, but that has to be this teams priority. Reimold should be fine long term and Avery doesn't have the power to play LF at Camden yards. Its one thing in spacious petco park and the NL West, quite another in Camden and the AL East. I don't think Andino at 3rd makes a lot of sense, not on an every day basis (especially with questions about Roberts health).

  2. I like the idea of adding Headley. I think his numbers would improve at Camden for sure, but he is still a below average hitting third baseman. His best attribute would be his OBP which we could use. You could argue he is about the hitting equivalent of Betemit but better defensively. I think that the Orioles need to give Reynolds another chance to be the everyday third baseman when he returns. Last year was by far his worst season fielding percentage wise. He should improve after all the reports about how hard he worked in the offseason towards his defense. The guy led our team last year in HR, RBI, Runs scored, BB, and OPS. That is no small feat considering where he bats in the order. We need Reynold's bat, and platooning him at DH would make it very difficult for him to have a productive season only starting when there is a lefty starter. Also I would not trade Avery at all. We really need a SB threat on this team, and I don't think BRob will be much of a factor there if he returns. Thoughts?

    • Its not just fielding percentage with Reynolds its all the balls that he can't even get too. That's why he's not even a good defensive 1st baseman. And the Orioles don't really need Reynolds bat, their offensive production as a team has been very good, and that is with him and Johnson being completely ineffective and Reimold now missing a couple weeks. If he can help boost the DH production great. And it doesn't have to be a straight platoon, if Reynolds is hot, or has good numbers vs the guy give him the start if its a RH. Its mainly against tough RH's that he needs to sit. Guys whom he won't be able to draw walks on or make as good contact.

      You could maybe see if trading L.J. Hoes would be enough to keep Avery. And that was really just one workable deal I thought for both sides, there could obviously be others. I think you only keep Avery if you have a real fear of Jones not re-signing or Reimolds injury being more serious. If you know that you will give Jones Matt Kemp money, and that Reimold should make a full recovery, I don't see where Avery fits in long term even with that speed.

  3. I am all in for going for it after that last 15 years. Though I don't see them adding a left side of the infielder player unless they are in the last year of a deal. Looks like Manny Machado is on pace for early next season and the Orioles have a past of bringing up guys early. There two biggest moves are going to be adding pitching when Zach Britton soon returns and the callup of Dylan Bundy. And although I have no expectations of his return, Brian Roberts is working out and travelling with the team. I would think they would have cut the cord if they didn't think his return is possible.

    • @John- I definitely did consider Machado but I feel he is a mid-season call up next year at best. It's incredibly impressive that he's in AA at 19, but he's not killing the league just yet. I feel he'll need a bit more seasoning next year. As we've seen with some recent phenom's (Trout, Harper, Heyward) they don't always immediately dominate, so having another guy around would make sense. I also feel that if Roberts health doesn't improve Headley or Machado could go to 2nd. Headley also has played LF (in spacious Petco), so you probably have enough utility with him.Finally even if every other position is filled, you could always look to trade Headley, who might warrant a bigger return with improved offensive numbers being away from San Diego.

      For pitching I'd love to see the O's make a free agent splash next year (esp. since most of their hitting spots would be covered). Oswalt (would make the Beltway series very interesting), Grienke, Peavey, Marcum, Edwin Jackson and a few other solid names could all be on the market.

  4. Yeah, sorry, but rebuilding teams don't generally trade productive, controllable players like Headley without exacting a great return. Take a look at what they got for Latos. Headley doesn't hit for power because he plays half his games in Pet Co, but he seems to be taking a slight step forward in that regard in 2012. Put him in the middle of the O's lineup somewhere (he'd be a great #2 or #6 hitter), in the smaller parks in the AL East, and he's easily capable of hitting .310/.350/.460 in Camden and the generally smaller parks in the AL East. Better be ready to give up two or three upper tier, major league ready or nearly major league ready players for him.

    • @Jamie-

      I'm sorry but no team will trade 1 much less 2 upper tier prospects for Headley. Like it or not Petco decreases his value. Teams can be very hopeful that his numbers will have a major boost from being away from there, but it is hardly a guarantee (they may go up slightly, or moderately). And while he's a good defender, teams don't typically pay a ton for defense, especially at a non-up the middle position. If the Padres want to contend, they are far better off not spending $5 million on Headley next year (or 1/11th of their 2012 opening day payroll), and instead take the prospects and money and bank it for in a couple years when they have enough pieces to contend. And you can't compare Headley to a Latos deal. Latos was a top prospect who looked to be a front of the rotation starter (maybe not a 1, but a good 2) who was 24 years old at the time of the deal and 4 years of team control, including 1 at league minimum. Plus his other three years are the three years of Arbitration, all of which will be far cheaper than trying to buy that level of arm on the open market.

      Headley is 28 and only offers 2 and 3/4 years of team control and his price tag is greater. So while there would be a savings from trying to sign somebody it wouldn't be as much.

  5. I liked everything you said until you got to what you think the Orioles would have to give up. As a Padres fan, I wouldn't touch that deal with a 10 foot pole. I'm not sure Avery cracks the Padres top 20 prospects and the other two are throw in's at best.

    Berry has a nearly 5 ERA after repeating low A and he's 21 years old. Non-propect

    Tyler Townsen looks like another non-prospect. The Padres have a few guys in their system that look much better than him in C. Decker and Andrew Freiman. Other guys like Edinson Rincon and Duanel Jones may end up at 1B as well. This guy just doesn't add anything to this deal.

    I just don't see Avery as a center piece to this deal. His value is in CF. I'm not sure he has enough bat for LF and he strikes out an awful lot for a leadoff hitter. He's intriguing, but I'm not sure it's a fit. Frankly, I don't think he's good enough to be the center piece of this deal without offering anything else worth talking about.

    I'm glad you recognize how good Headley is though. He is a top defensive 3B in all of baseball and his offense is destroyed by PETCO. Chase has changed his swing and intentionally tried to hit less balls in the air because of PETCO. He has the power to hit HR and he'd probably hit 15-20 in the park. He also hits for average, gets on base, and is a great base runner. In any other park this guy is one of the best at his position. He's cheap and controllable, so that package just wouldn't cut it.

    They don't need to shed payroll. The Padres are rock bottom in payroll. Darnell has done well in LF and could get his AB there for now. He also was injured last night, so there isn't a big rush to clear a spot for him.

    They don't need to trade Chase and may want to sign him long term if they intend to move the fences in at PETCO (something they're considering). A trade for Chase would likely have to be an overpay. I can't imagine him being traded for anything less than a top 100 prospect. The Padres aren't looking for quantity, they will want quality. They already have the deepest system in baseball.

    • @Brian-

      Guys like Townsend and Berry are still very much prospects despite their poor Minor league numbers. I see this type of deal akin to when the Nationals acquired Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen for Bonifacio and two low minor leaguers. Or when the O's got J.J. Hardy for a pair of moderate relief prospects. The O's might need to beef up the deal a bit, but it wouldn't be a major overhaul.

      • I just don't see it the way you do Steve. The Padres don't have any reason to trade him if they aren't getting something significant. The amount of quality third baseman in baseball right now is extremely low. Next years free agent market for 3B is extremely weak. Getting a player with that much to offer, with that many years of control, for that price, this early in the season isn't going to be had with what you're suggesting. Sorry, I don't see how Willingham or Hardy are relevant examples. Hardy had a terrible year for the Brewers followed by nothing special for the Twins before he was traded. Willingham is a corner outfielder and not even a very good one. I'm not sure how you compare that to a 3B when the position is so weak throughout baseball. I'm not saying you'd have to give up a Machado or Bundy type, but I'd definitely ask for Schoop. Other than that, I don't see a palatable scenario for the Padres.

        • Yes but Headley is coming off a year that was his worst offensively and defensively. Look he's having a good year, and he's a good ball player, but how many contenders are going to come calling for a 3rd baseman? Sure it might take more than what I mentioned, but I don't know if it will take Schoop.

  6. The LAST thing the Padres need is a power-hitting minor-league 1st baseman. With Matt Clark at Tuscon and Nathan Freiman at San Antonio they are set for upper-end prospects (especially when you consider that they have commited to Yonder Alonso for the foreseeable future and also have Jesus Guzman and Mark Kotsay on the ML roster – both of whom can play first adequately well). There is also Kyle Blanks (granted the team is losing patience with his lack of development and second season-ending injury in three seasons).

  7. People seem to overvalue there players/prospects quite a bit and there is probably some of that from both sides here. I've seen Townsend at #16 in the Orioles system at the highest and I've seen him not even in your top 20. He isn't much different than any of the guys mentioned and I'm not sure he's better than all of them like you are suggesting. The fact is, the Padres don't have a need; therefore, he doesn't add value to that deal. They have a bunch of 1B prospects doing very well. Alonso looks like a good fit and he's a rookie. Clark has been on fire after a very slow start for AAA Tucson. He has very impressive power. Nathan Freiman is killing it for the AA Missions .325/.380/.675 with 14 HR and 40 RBI! Kyle Blanks has shown flashes of brilliance in the major leagues and he has no where to play when he gets healthy. Quality beats quantity every time especially where there isn't much quality in the quantity.

  8. Paul said on May 18, 2012

    I'm a Padres fan as well, and I've got to admit that Brian seems to be right here. The Padres aren't looking just for depth in their system; they need impact talent, and Headley is the best trade chip that they've got-by far. I think Schoop probably gets this deal done-he does fit a hole in the system and provide impact talent. The names that you mentioned don't.

  9. "Yes but Headley is coming off a year that was his worst offensively and defensively."

    Chase Headley did not have anywhere close to his worst year offensively last season, his OPS+ was 120, and his OPS was the highest of his career. As you mentioned, the guy hit .301 with an OPS of .811 away from Petco, when the teams start looking for a trade they are going to know this.

    The Padres are going to sell Headley as a mid to top level 3rd baseman due to his defense and away stats. Whatever team gets him will have to giveup a package of at least one good major league ready prospect and a few mid level guys. The prospects will also have to fit needs as the Padres have a stacked system.
    The Petco Park factor is not a secret anymore and nobody is going to get a discount because of that. This is just like how the Redsox extended Gonzalez for over 20 mil a year when his triple crown stats where throttled by the park. While Headley is not the level of player that Gonzalez is, it goes to show that teams are aware of the Petco Park factor.

    You are seriously overvaluing your prospects and undervaluing Headley. Xavier Avery might have the speed to play well it Petco, but his power will not transfer at all, Townsend is 24 and wouldn't even be the 2nd best firstbase prospect the Padres have, at best 3rd behind the promoted Alonso and the AA Freiman (While 25 years of age has produced much better than Townsend who isn't a youngster himself at 24) and he probably isn't better than Cody Decker, Jaff Decker and a few other guys. Tim Berry is an alright prospect, but he is in his second year of A ball and has yet to learn how to get guys out (WHIP 1.485).

    Also Darnell is getting plenty at bats in left field and I am not too sure that Headley cannot work out in their long term plans.

    The Padres hold the leverage here, they have a guy that has multiple years of control left at a low cost and at a premium position. Can you come up with a better prospect package that shows you did a bit of research?

    • Your right I was looking at his stats from two years ago.

      Headley and Gonzalez aren't in the same boat. And I know the Padres will try to promote him as a better hitter, but there is no guarantee teams will bite on that. Even in a hitters park Headley is not a 20HR guy and that will knock him down, whether it is justified or not.

      Darnell could be a LF, but the Padres also have Gyorko coming up so again 3B can easily be filled. Headley should be traded if the Padres hope to eventually contend. Even if everything goes well this team is 2 years away from really contending, a time in which Headley will be entering his final arb. year (making $7-8 million) and 30 years old. Do you really think it makes sense to keep a guy like that? And that is the most optimistic situation. And since when did 3B become a premium position? SS, C and CF are the premium positions, then 2B. 3B ranks 5th at best, and as we've well established he's not exactly a top tier guy (even with optimistic look on the park factor). So since he's not top tier he'd go behind in terms of need good to great bats at 1B or LF as well (to say nothing of starting pitching and ace closers). Teams aren't going to be knocking down the Padres door for him. Maybe the O's would have to sweeten the deal, but it's not going to be a lot. And I know you want to act like the Padres make these great deals, but remember they gave up the best hitting minor league first baseman for what right now is a power reliever who isn't even closing. Yes they had Alonzo, but that was a bad deal any way you cut it.

  10. CJ said on May 21, 2012

    Steve, I understand how you feel about Headley's value overall. But think about it this way you identified him as a target for the O's to trade for. That means he has value that you believe the O's could use. But does the value you suggest they give up make sense to you for the Padres. I am not saying that the Padres fans on here are right to believe that Headley is worth more or less.

    Headley going forward is at least average defensively and a decent bet to be average to above average offensively (Considering his career home/road splits).

    On the other hand what are the O's giving up, a player who certainly has talent and potential in Avery, but his small sample size this year isn't going to boost is value that much. He is young and there is certainly room and time for improvement, but a career minor league .266/.328/.363/.691 hitter is more likely what to expect then not. That solid for a CF, but Maybin is sort of entranced in SD there. Tyler Townsend seems sort of like a dime a dozen 1B prospect, which most teams including by the sound of it SD has. Tim Berry is actually the piece that makes the most sense, no team ever has enough pitching, though the Padres are relatively deep in the terms of middle of rotation arms.

    The point isn't the the O's need to sweeten the deal, but alter it to make sense for the Padres. If all of the scouting service are right, they lack high end pitching and middle infield. None of the pieces you suggest fit that. Such as the Cashner/Rizzo trade you mentioned, Cashner is that high end pitching that the Padres apparently intend to convert into a starter (the intelligence of that is debatable), but he is the type of arm they are after, its not the safest picks, but the upside that makes sense. The Padres system is loaded with average players, they lack upside, which is exactly what the package lacked.

    Say make the deal Parker Bridwell and David Baker with another lower arm involved and the Padres might jump. Thats the kind of thing that works, there is true upside in that kind of a deal. Yes it hurts the O's but that is something that would make sense for the Padres.

    • Look I have no issue with that I was only looking at a baseline of what level of talent it would take to make a deal. I believe Avery and Birdwell are roughly the same level of prospect. Birdwell has higher upside, but Avery is ML ready and has a lower bust rate (at worst he'd be a 4th OF, who is more valuable in SD due to his defense). I see Baker and Berry as similar prospects and Mahoney was a bit of a throw in to begin with.

  11. Brian's right and Steve is wrong. There is no way that the Padres would move their best player for the bag o' crap you're proposing.

    The conversation would go something like this:

    Josh Byrnes: "Well, okay, we can talk about moving Headley. I assume you're willing to trade Dylan Bundy?"

    Dan Duquette: "No. He's untouchable."

    Byrnes: "Okay… well, what about Manny Machado?"

    Duquette: "Also untouchable."

    Byrnes: "Um.. you're not making this easy here. Okay, how about Jonathan Schoop, Nicky Delmonico and, say, two other lesser prospects?"

    Duquette: "Those guys are untouchable, too. But look! Here's Xavier Avery, he's, uh… got a career .690 OPS in the minors?"

    Byrnes: "Yeah, okay. Listen: don't call me, I'll call you."

    • haha, yeah the O's would be hanging up in that conversation. Schoop and Delmonico you have got to be kidding.

  12. See, the point is that the Padres don't have to trade Headley, and the Orioles would like to acquire him, so, you know, you sort of have to give up things the other team would want.

    BTW, Schoop has a .600 OPS in AA at second base, so you're almost certainly way overrating him as a prospect.

    • using stats to determine a prospects worth is usually a recipe for disaster. Schoop is 20 years old in AA, playing against guys who are 3 or 4 years older than him. Schoop is considered by many to be one of the top 75 prospects in baseball if not top 50.

  13. Geez, shorthand, dude. Turn down your condescencion a few hundred levels when you're the one proposing ridiculously unrealistic trades.

    So, let me unpack what I was saying with that ".600 OPS" shorthand: Baseball America ranked Schoop as their #82 prospect preseason. Since then, he's played poorly — he hasn't hit, and he's moved off of shortstop to 2B. Obviously, Schoop is still a prospect, but it'd be tough for anyone to argue with a straight face that his value has gone *up* since the season began. So he's a marginal Top 100 guy.

    Delmonico was outside BA's top 100 but (in fairness to you) probably has a chance to be in the lower half if you were to redo the list now.

    What that means is that you find it *laughable* that the Orioles would have to part with two fringe Top 100 prospects in order to acquire the Padres' (a) best player (b) with 3 1/2 years of cost control remaining (c) in May.

    This is what we call being an unrealistic homer. I'm sorry you don't want to hear that, but you're not really making an effort to put together something that's worth discussing from San Diego's perspective.

    • Wow…up until now I thought you were joking.

      Keith Law had Schoop at 56, and others had him in the 60's and 70's. And Schoop only moved of SS b/c of Manny Machado one of the 5 best prospects in the game. As for his hitting, him having a .600 OPS against guys 2-4 years his senior is not a bad thing. Few 20 year olds can succeed in AA. I guarantee you Schoop's 'slow start' doesn't have anyone worried.

      Now I realize BA has them ranked higher, but Schoop was considered a better prospect than both Alonso and Grandel were ranked lower by Keith Law, so I guess the Padres only got two fringe top 100 prospects plus two throw ins for Latos. Speaking of even if Schoop was ranked 82nd as a consensus no GM would include Delmonico as well. If the Padres got offered two fringe top 100 prospects for Headley they'd take that deal in a heartbeat.

      Finally what does the fact that Headley being the Padres best player have to do with anything (outside of how much they are lacking talent). Headley isn't a star caliber player, on a top level team, he should be no better then a teams 6th best every day player. Finally, it is only 2 1/2 years of cost control remaining, and since he's a super two, it isn't a huge savings.

      • I don't know why you'd bother to make stuff up when the facts are readily available via Google, but here goes.

        1. No, it is not the case that "Schoop was considered a better prospect than both Alonso and Grandal." Here are the rankings of each of these four players by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, John Sickels, and Keith Law:

        Jonathan Schoop: 82, 85, 77, 56
        Nicky Delmonico: NR, NR, NR, NR
        Yonder Alonso: 33, 86, 28, 69
        Yasmani Grandal: 53, 38, 42, 65

        So you're just completely wrong on that.

        2. I have no idea what you're arguing when you claim that "if the Padres got offered two fringe Top 100 prospects for Headley they'd take that deal in a heartbeat," for two reasons.

        First, the Padres got MORE than that last year at the trading deadline for reliever Mike Adams (Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin), who had just a little over ONE year of team control remaining at the time of the deal. You think they aren't aiming higher for a better player with more years of control?

        Second, and perhaps more importantly, remember that it's MY ARGUMENT, not yours, that Schoop + Delmonico is a starting point for any deal for Headley. Your deal was for ZERO actual prospects.

        3. I think it's weird that you quibble with my use of "best player" as shorthand for "guy who's worth more than the bag of crap you're offering," particularly since you're the one who's already accurately described Headley's value right here in main body of this post! My point is simply that unless Josh Byrnes is an idiot, he knows how valuable Headley is at least as well as you do. So why on earth would the Padres give up a valuable player for a sack of fringe-to-non-prospects?

        4. Finally, if you don't think the fact that Schoop has neither a) hit nor b) played shortstop in a year and a half and at a level above the South Atlantic league doesn't affect his perceived value, then you're kidding yourself. It doesn't mean Schoop isn't a prospect — of course he is — but it does mean that he's not the kind of guy who can anchor a deal for anyone above the "rental" level.

        • Umm didn't Alonso anchor a trade despite not playing his natural position? Schoop is still going to be considered a SS by most teams, and its not as if he doesn't have a ton of value as a 2b as well.

          Since when are top 100 prospects the only prospects? And how are Elin and Wieland a better return when neither were top 100 guys for either Law or BA?

          I said all along the prospects I offered were fluid, just that it's not going to bring a major return. If the Padres get one top 100 prospect (even one in the 80's or later) they would probably take it. Guys like Headley don't get traded for top 75 prospects, it just doesn't happen.