By JON HEYMAN
SAN DIEGO — Free-agent third baseman Chase Headley has a fine market, though it might not be quite what it’s been cracked up to be at times, perhaps enhancing the chances for the Yankees to retain him.
There was allegedly a $65 million, four-year offer for Headley, and while that figure (or maybe even a tad higher) were rumored and even reported, it’s a mystery where that could possibly come from. Someone was speculating the Astros in print in the last few days, but while Houston is looking at the left side of the infield, two sources familair with their thinking say Headley isn’t all that high on their list.
The Giants were said to be making a push a few days ago, but the reality is the Giants are dead set against going past three years for Headley — who had 13 home runs, 49 RBI and a .243 batting average for the Padres and Yankees last year — as they survey some seemingly lesser possibilities.They are completely invested in the Jon Lester derby at the moment, but don’t seem ready to go crazy over Headley.
The Yankees met recently with Headley and prefer to keep him to a three-year deal, as well, but are thought perhaps open to a four-year offer of some sort. The Yankees’ original thought is believed to have been for $39 million over three years. But while they looked like a long shot with that start originally, they still seem to be very much alive in the derby.
If Headley goes elsewhere, the Yankees will likely employ Martin Prado at third base, and perhaps give one of two kids — Robert Refsnyder or Jose Pirela — a chance to win second base.
The Marlins are among other teams with interest. But they pulled back after hearing of the $65 million offer — though it is not clear at this point if that offer was real or phantom.