By TED SANSON
Deadset Against Head
Typically, head is something we covet. It’s something we’ll pay for, beg, borrow, and steal. We fantasize about it while we twiddle our thumbs at work or sit in Rt. 46 traffic. Head is like a good pair of jeans – it goes well with almost anything.
For Yankee fans, however, “Head” is something we do not want. We avoid it like we avoided the toothless lunch lady in grammar school. We avoid it like a vampire avoids sunlight.
Much to our chagrin, though, the Yankees got Head yesterday. Not the kind of head you text all your friends and brag about in your group chat the following morrow. Not even the kind of head you got from some BBW (big beautiful woman, learned that one the other day) that you still enjoyed but will take to your grave with the utmost secrecy.
This “Head” – free agent third baseman Chase Headley – cost the Yankees $52 million over 4 years, and has been nothing but mediocre for his entire career, save his monster 2012 season with San Diego. Apparently Brian Cashman was so blinded by his lust for a man at the hot corner, he was brought to his knees and freely opened up his checkbook for a guy who sucks – literally.
While the Yankees need depth at the corners of the infield worse than Taylor Swift needs a tan and a personality, this move is certainly a questionable one at best. While I could make cheesy felatio references all day, I give to you “5 (baseball) Reasons Why We Don’t Want Head.”
1. Head costs too much.
Headley, 30, who was acquired in a deal with the Padres prior to last season’s trade deadline, will make $13 million per year for the next four seasons. While baseball contracts have become increasingly bloated, Headley’s 162 per game averages of .265 16 HR and 70 RBI are hardly worth a baker’s dozen (in millions) per year.
2. Head was only good once.
Aside from Chase’s breakout 2012 season where he batted .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBI in the pitcher friendly confines of Petco Park, Headley has been different shades of average. Discounting his outlier performance of 2012, Headley has NEVER hit more than 13 HR or 64 RBI in ANY of his big league seasons. That’s not a typeo. Headley just hasn’t produced. If Alex Rodriguez was the Marcia Brady of third baseman, then Headley is lucky to be called Jan.
3. Head hurts.
At the beginning of last season, Headley spent time on the disabled list with the Padres due to an ailing back. Headley will be 31 in May, and while that isn’t old – it’s not young, either. Back injuries are the sort of thing that are nagging and debilitating, and usually get worse with age. The last thing the Yankees need is a guy on the wrong side of 30 with a multi-year deal and injury concerns.
4. Head blocks the future.
By signing Headley to a four-year deal, the Yankees have essientally handed him third base through the 2018 season. This $50 million committment all but ensures Chase will hold down the hot corner and block any potential prospects from breaking into the bigs. While the Yankees don’t have any ML ready third basemen waiting for the call, it’s been widely reported that prospects Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela would duke it out for the second base job with jack-of-all-trades Martin Prado and baseball’s biggest villain, Alex Rodriguez, manning third base. With Headley in the fold, Prado will likely get most of his time at second, and Refsnyder/Pirela will be in Scranton or warming Joe Girardi’s bench.
Yankee fans have been waiting for an everyday player to come through the system, as it has become an incredibly rare sight these days, almost as rare as a Kardashian taking a fully-clothed photo. Not since Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, and Brett Gardner has there been a Yankee farmhand to secure an everyday role in the Bronx. Refsnyder may have been that guy. Unfortunately though, we’ll have to wait – Headley’s $50 million contract and mediocre bat have formed a bigger cock block than a jacked older brother or a gay best friend.
5. We just got Head. Now what?
By signing Headley to a four-year deal, it would appear that the Yankees are going to spend, spend, and spend some more in a free agent blitzkreig to ensure they don’t miss the playoffs for a thrid consecutive year. While that philosophy is all well and good – I guess – it is a direct contradiction to the Didi Gregorius move (indicates they are looking to build for the future and take a chance on a young player) and the decision to let David Robertson take his 39 saves and 96 strikeouts to Chitown.
If Cashman and the Yanks signed Headley as an attempt to not miss out on playoff revenue for a third consecutive season, why not sign Robertson and build a super bullpen akin to the Kansas City Royals of last season? Why not take a flier on an established slugger like Nelson Cruz that would undoubtedly rake in the new stadium’s Williamsport-like dimensions? Why not blow away the field for Jon Lester or Max Scherzer?
While I would not condone any of those moves, at least they would display a commitment to chasing a title in 2015 and employing a front office philosophy that echoes such a commitment. Currently, what are the Yankees trying to do? Are they going for it? Are they trying to wait out the bad contracts, develop players, and make their push when they have young assets, open roster spots, and money to burn?
The Headley move only adds more confusion as to what the Yankees philosophy actually is. It appears as if they don’t actually have one. If the New York Football Giants and Jets are an example of anything, it’s that you can’t build and rebuild at the same time.
If the Giants wanted a change, instead of undermining Tom Coughlin by hiring a new offensive coordinator and possibly replacing their defensive coordinator after this season, they’d be wiser to blow the whole thing up and fire the old man. The same goes for the dysfunctional circus that is the New York Jets, who hired John Idzik two years ago but kept Rex Ryan, his coaching staff, and their entire scouting department.
In sports, life, and personal relationships, I’ve found it’s best to either be “all in” or “all out.” Being in-between on anything sends mixed signals, and mixed signals always yield poor results.
The Chase Headley signing is a classic example of a mixed signal.
But at least we got some head…..for four more years.