Chase Headley Rumors: Padres not discussing long-term contract

Denis Poroy

It's status quo in San Diego as the Padres are not discussing a long-term contract extension for Chase Headley. The team's third baseman had a breakout year in 2012 which earned him a nice raise for 2013, but the Friars are still in no rush to sign him long-term.

The San Diego Padres and Chase Headley are not talking about a long-term extension right now. The team just recently avoided arbitration with the third baseman slugger (we can actually call him a slugger after his performance last year). Headley received a raise of more than $5 million for this upcoming season, but it still leaves the Padres without a guarantee on his future.

Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune says Headley and the team are not "on the same page" regarding a long-term deal. This would indicate that Headley is asking for far more than the Padres are willing to give him. And San Diego only has themselves to blame for that. If the the Padres were to sign Headley to a long-term, team-friendly deal, it probably needed to come before last season. Now, the two sides are not even discussing a multi-year deal.

Headley's power numbers from 2012 would have likely earned him a nice raise if he and the Padres went to arbitration. Headley had submitted a $10.3 million salary request and the Padres counted with $7.075. They met somewhere near the middle to get the deal done this year, but Headley's price is only going to increase if he continues to hit.

Related: More on Headley's 2013 deal.

In 2012, Headley hit .286/.376/.486 with 31 home runs and a National League-leading 115 RBI. His .875 OPS was over 100 points than his second-best year. Headley had never hit more than 12 home runs in a season before last season. This could lead to some concern about his ability to duplicate the feat, but Headley has been a solid above-average hitter his entire career. He simply hasn't shown a power stroke until this past year.

With the fences being moved in at Petco Park, there is a real chance that headley surpasses his numbers this season. The mental stigma of knowing how deep Petco plays will likely be lifted for many players with the moving of the fences. Headley has been one to question the way the park played in the past, so he is sure to enjoy the new configuration.

If Headley does have another breakout year, it may very well guarantee that Headley is not a Padre beyond the 2014 season. He has one more year beyond this one of team control before he hits free agency. By that point, he may be far too costly for the small-market Padres to afford. Of course, the two sides could still come to an agreement at some point this season, but considering the lack of communication now and the lack of communication in the past, it seems unlikely.


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