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Yankees called about Headley, but they need to look elsewhere for bats

Headley (USATSI)
No players on the Padres are untouchable, but Chase Headley comes pretty close. (USATSI)

The Yankees recently called for Padres star third baseman Chase Headley and were told there wasn't a deal to be made, according to people familiar with the brief discussion.

While the Padres are willing to listen on any of their players, Headley appears to be about as close as possible to an untouchable player without actually being one. People who have spoken to the Padres have the impression it would take a special prospect to make the Padres even consider a trade for Headley.

Anyway, it's not believed the Yankees possess that type of prospect. So the Yankees' search for bats, particularly right-handed ones, will go on. One righty bat who is available is the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano, the ex-Yankee who is hot. But Soriano isn't as perfect a positional match as Headley would have been.

The recovering slugger Alex Rodriguez, a third baseman when healthy, said he expects to be back playing with the Yankees on Monday. But even if that comes to pass, Headley could have fit the Yankees since he's also capable of playing first base.

The Padres will keep the switch-hitting Headley unless "it's absolutely the right deal,'' according to someone familiar with their thinking. There has been hope on the part of other teams the Padres might consider moving Headley since Jedd Gyorko, who's manning second base, is a natural third baseman

Headley, a free agent after 2014, declined to talk about a contract extension with San Diego early this season, but the Padres will likely try again to discuss it with him this winter. And with Headley's production falling after his monster 2012 season (7, 31, .229 this year), the Padres' chances to keep him actually may have improved.

The Padres have said they'd be willing to make Headley the highest-paid Padre ever, but while he was believed to be hoping for a nine-figure deal (not unreasonable off his '12 performance), something in the range of the Andre Ethier and Adam Jones deals ($85 million for five years, and $85.5 million for six, respectively) would seem to be more in line, or even generous, now.

 
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