MINNEAPOLIS -- While Indians general manager Chris Antonetti stuck to his policy of not commenting on specific players, MLB.com has confirmed that the Indians have inquired about Padres third baseman Chase Headley. According to a report on ESPN.com, the four most aggressive suitors have been Baltimore, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Antonetti has made it known that the Tribe's preference in trades is to target players who are under club control beyond this season. The 28-year-old Headley, who is making $3.48 million this season, fits that mold. Headley remains in his arbitration years and will not become eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season.
The Padres' asking price is high, so it is not clear how serious the Indians' pursuit is at this point.
The switch-hitting Headley was hitting .267 with 12 home runs, 21 doubles and 51 RBIs through 99 games for San Diego this season. Headley's career splits against lefties (.262) and righties (.272) are relatively even, and he's hit .304 against southpaw starters this year.
Headley has past experience as an outfielder, but inquiring clubs are looking at him for third base. Cleveland already has a young up-and-coming third baseman in Lonnie Chisenhall, though he is likely sidelined for the remainder of this season due to a broken right forearm.
If the Indians had the right trade proposal in hand, the ballclub would be willing to pull the trigger right away. Cleveland is not simply sitting back and waiting until Tuesday's Trade Deadline rolls around to make a move.
"If we had the right deal, we would move on that deal," Antonetti said on Friday. "There's nothing keeping us from doing it. We don't have to wait for the Deadline. But, it has to be the right deal that makes the right sense, and I don't necessarily see that happening in the short term."