SAN DIEGO — Chase Headley hasn’t worn a Padres uniform in nearly two years, but the Yankees third baseman still pays attention to what goes on with his former club.
After all, it was the Padres who chose him in the second round of the 2005 draft and with whom he made his big-league debut in 2007.
“You move on, but this is still a huge part of who I am,” Headley said. “I wish them the best, except when they play the Yankees . . . There’s a lot of memories here. First hit, first home run . . . a lot of things.”
The Yankees obtained Headley, 32, before the 2014 trade deadline and signed him to a four-year, $52-million contract after that season.
Headley said he knew in the weeks leading up the trade deadline that he was likely to be dealt, but he holds no bitterness toward the Padres, though there were some hard feelings initially.
“It’s tough to move on,” he said. “But once you get a couple of years separated from that, you realize how much you enjoyed being here and how much you enjoyed the people. I don’t want to say there was a lot of negativity, but a lot of the anxiety toward the end of my stay here has definitely faded away.”
Meanwhile, after a horrendous start to this season, Headley seems to have righted himself. Entering Friday night, he had a .296/.363/.451 slash line in his previous 48 games.
“Just a minor adjustment that he made,” Joe Girardi said of the work Headley did with hitting coach Alan Cockrell and assistant hitting coach Marcus Thames. “They’ve worked hard on it every day and it finally just clicked for him.”
The Nationals, Rangers and Cubs, all teams searching for bullpen help before the trade deadline, were among the clubs with scouts at Petco Park. The Cubs have been at every Yankees series for the better part of a month.