Chase Headley already has been bumped off third base thanks to the arrival of Todd Frazier, and with the Yankees still in the market for a first baseman, his future there is murky as well.
For now, though, Headley is doing extra pregame work at his new position, where he started again on Thursday and had three more hits against the Rays in a 6-5, 11-inning win.
He also walked to lead off the bottom of the 10th.
Since the switch to first base, Headley is 11-for-24 with three doubles, three walks and three strikeouts.
But he wasn’t completely settled in at the other corner infield spot.
“I’m fine,” Headley said. “I’m not comfortable all the time, but I’m all right.”
With Lucas Duda traded from the Mets to the Rays on Thursday, there’s one less target for the Yankees to go after — though the Athletics’ Yonder Alonso remains available, and the Yankees continue to be in touch with Oakland about Sonny Gray.
So far this season, Headley has an OPS of .800 batting left-handed and just .546 right-handed. If the Yankees do acquire another first baseman, Headley likely would back up both first and third.
Headley and Alonso played together in San Diego for more than two years before Headley was shipped to the Yankees in 2014.
That was well before Alonso broke out this season, when he became an All-Star.
Yonder AlonsoGetty Images
“He could always hit,” Headley said. “The power just had to come and that took off this year.”
Alonso entered Thursday with 21 homers, 12 more than he had in any season before this one. Recently, though, Alonso’s production has dropped off.
In 28 games since June 22, Alonso is just 19-for-96 with four home runs, 13 walks and 31 strikeouts. And his OPS in that stretch is .654.
By comparison, Headley has an OPS of .837 in 40 games since June 7, but that includes just one home run.
Overall, it’s an improvement over what Headley did in May, when he all but disappeared at the plate.
“I’m pleased I’m hitting and producing after some of the ups and downs I’ve gone through,” Headley said. “I didn’t expect [the defensive switch] to affect me too much offensively. There’s a lot of work and a lot more thinking [at a new position]. I’m doing a lot of early work there, but I felt like I had swung the bat well before the move and I have a comfort level with what I’m doing at the plate. I hope I continue to do that, even though I’m moving around a little bit. In a perfect world, that stuff doesn’t impact you.”
With Headley’s well-chronicled woes at the plate for parts of each of the past two seasons, he’s aware things are rarely perfect.
That includes the understanding his role could change again if the Yankees are able to make another addition before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
“All of that stuff is out of my control,” Headley said. “I feel like I’ve played well.”
The experience he has dealing with distractions at other points in his career has benefited him recently, he said.
“I’ve heard enough noise my entire career,” Headley said. “Whether it was about getting traded when I was in San Diego when we weren’t very good or when I wasn’t playing well here. There’s always been something. I think I’ve gotten pretty good of just taking care of what I can.”