The New York Yankees and third baseman Chase Headley were nearing a four-year contract agreement Monday morning, so it appears the Yankees were serious when they suggested Alex Rodriguez pack a first baseman’s mitt for spring training.
Headley, 30, batted .262 with a .371 on-base percentage in 58 games with the Yankees last season. The San Francisco Giants, who need to replace Pablo Sandoval at third base, were believed to have engaged with Headley, as well.
Several reports, first by CBSSports.com, said Headley would receive about $52 million over four years from the Yankees.
Rodriguez, 39, has been preparing this winter as though he will play third base. The Headley signing likely means Rodriguez would be the club’s regular designated hitter, however, and spell Mark Teixeira at first base.
Coming off a yearlong suspension for violations of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, Rodriguez has played 44 games since the end of 2012. Along with two hip surgeries in the past five years and Rodriguez’s age, the inactivity appears to have the Yankees hedging against a productive return, which accounts for the Headley signing.
This winter, the Yankees have traded for shortstop Didi Gregorius, signed left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to a four-year contract, re-signed outfielder Chris Young and signed Headley.