Chase Headley market heating up; Dodgers, Pirates, Orioles among likely suitors

The Chase Headley market remains hot, with the Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Orioles, Diamondbacks and at least two other teams believed to have some level of interest in San Diego's switch-hitting third baseman.

The Padres don't have an aversion to trading within their division, but a touchy recent history (several of the respective teams' executives have switched teams) may make a trade a bit tricky between the Padres and D-Backs.

It shouldn't be a surprise Headley is popular considering the paucity of proven hitters on the trade market. The Padres don't have to trade him, but do have a top prospect, Jedd Gyorko, who seems ready to play third base in San Diego.

The Padres could keep Headley into the winter when the Braves, Reds and Phillies may join in the hunt for him. Those teams could have third-base openings to fill this winter.

In a weak hitting market Headley, 28, brings a lot of plusses. The switch hitter makes a reasonable $3.475 million and remains under team control through 2014. He has a career .811 OPS on the road (compared to .666 at PETCO Park), showing his hitting ability goes beyond his overall numbers. He has a .794 OPS overall this year, with eight homers, 41 RBI and a .271 batting average.

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