Before locking up second baseman Jedd Gyorko with a five-year, $35M extension that will keep him under team control through 2020, the Padres made an attempt to lock up another one of their infielders. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Padres offered third baseman Chase Headley a three-year extension in the $33-39M range during the offseason in hopes of locking him up before he hits free agency after this season.
Headley, who turns 30 next month, will be one of the two best third basemen available on the free agent market next winter, along with Pablo Sandoval. He has expressed a willingness to re-sign with the Padres, and the team previously stated that they are willing to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history. Heyman notes that the two sides are nowhere close to a deal, and that Headley will hit free agency without signing an extension before the end of the season.
The market value for third basemen is a bit ambiguous due to weak free agent markets over the past two seasons, with the last sizable deal for a third baseman coming in 2011, when Aramis Ramirez signed a three-year, $36M deal with the Brewers. The Padres could have used that deal as a starting point in Headley talks, but their offer seems to fall way short of what Headley is expecting to receive on the open market.
After a stellar 2012 season in which he hit .286 with 31 HR and 115 RBI while finishing fifth in the NL MVP race, Headley struggled last year, hitting .250 with 13 HR and 50 RBI in 141 games. He is off to a very slow start this season, hitting only .174 with 1 HR and 4 RBI in his first twelve games.