As the AL East continues to muck around this offseason, the Yankees are still dipping their toes into the free agent pool. They have discussed several possible targets, but have yet to make any kind of move one way or the other. One such free agent is Chase Headley, who at one point was considered to be the team's no. 1 priority. Now it appears that the Yankees could move on from him and look to fill the infield with internal options instead.
According to a source, Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York is reporting that the Yankees could be backing away from Headley now that Pablo Sandoval has signed his five-year, $95 million contract. With that deal now out, Headley is hoping to take advantage of the suddenly open market in order to score a lucrative contract of his own. The source, however, says that the Yankees are not interested in that long of a deal likely because of "his age (31 in May), so-so offensive production the past two seasons, and lingering lower back problems, which could lead to surgery at some point over the length of a five-year contract."
If the Yankees ultimately decide to part ways with Headley, they would then use Martin Prado at third base and give Rob Refsnyder a chance to win the second base job in spring training. For those wanting to see Refsnyder get a chance in the majors, the source told Marchand that "there are a lot of people in [the Yankees'] organization who want to give Refsnyder a shot. They think he's the best hitter in the [bleeping] organization." Regardless of whether or not Chase Headley returns to the Yankees, it would make sense to give Refsnyder a chance no matter what. Even if they use Prado at second, Refsnyder could grab a bench role to start the year and, if he succeeds, Prado's versatility would make it easy for the prospect to eventually take over the position full time.
Headley's demands shouldn't be a surprise as he was never going to sign before Sandoval. Now, as the best third baseman on the market, he can up his price and either wait for someone to meet his demands or work out a compromise that will still end up being in his favor. The Yankees really need another third baseman, but the problem with going with Prado is that it means Refsyder has to pan out, otherwise it will look like a big mistake to let a known quantity walk away.