Monday is the official first day of unrestricted free agency and it appears the Yankees have wasted no time in making their plans known as they have begun contract negotiations with third baseman Chase Headley. According to Jon Heyman, even with Alex Rodriguez returning and the presence of Pablo Sandoval on the market, the Yankees view Headley as their No. 1 third base target this offseason.
After trading Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula to the Padres at the 2014 trade deadline, Headley provided solid production at the hot corner, something they have very much lacked over the last few years. He hit .262/.371/.398 with six home runs and solid defense after putting on the pinstripes, and while he may not be the most exciting name out there, he still has plenty of value.
As Heyman notes, the Yankees' interest in Headley strongly suggests that they view A-Rod as less of a starting third baseman and more of a DH and backup infielder, which could end up including first base as well. It's important to get a deal like this out of the way quickly so that they can establish what everyone's role will be and they can continue to look into areas of need that will require more money to fill. At the moment, the talks seem preliminary, but news has come quickly this offseason, so maybe we're in for some excitement fairly soon.