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Should the Padres lock up their entire infield?

May 31, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Chase Headley Getty Images

Padres third baseman Chase Headley will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration going into the 2014 season, after which he would become eligible for free agency. For quite some time, the Padres have been reported as either shopping Headley or guarding him closely with plans to offer him a contract extension. As of now, nothing has happened.

In part due to Headley, the entire Padre infield has been the source of a great deal of production as first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, and shortstop Everth Cabrera are also posting above-average offensive numbers. As a result, Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego suggests the Padres should lock up their entire infield:

The team that has time and again sent its homegrown stars away rather than pay them has in the collective handling of its young talent a chance to change course in a grand way.

Ron Fowler, the Seidlers and the O’Malleys need to allow general manager Josh Byrnes to get underway the process of attempting to lock up Alonso, Jedd Gyorko, Everth Cabrera and, of course, Chase Headley.

All of them.

While having the luxury of writing down an entire infield in permanent marker is appealing, it isn’t necessary. Alonso is pre-arb through 2014 and isn’t eligible for free agency until 2017. Gyorko has all of 205 plate appearances at the Major League level so there is no rush to sign any additional paperwork with him. Cabrera is arb-eligible through 2016. Locking up Headley would be a great first step towards solidifying a great infield, but as it pertains to the other three, the Padres don’t need to worry about that for another year and a half at the earliest.

  1. xpensivewinos - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    ….a “great” infield?

    Seems to me the word “great” is being thrown around rather loosely there.

    I’ll go so far as “promising young,” but “great?” That’s a ridiculous statement.

  2. mianfr - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Sign Headley, who isn’t really a star, but is still a very useful and well above average player (like David Wright would be if he didn’t play for a New York team) and see where the others go.

    No one else on that diamond is going to be a perennial All-Star. Locking them up ensures security, but also ties them to a fixed ceiling that is just kind of okay.

  3. bigtrav425 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    Chase headly is average,that is all.they need to scam someone and trade him.but i would sign the rest of them.they are young enough to grow together

    • cartographer0 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      This year, Headley is putting up .248/.354/.409 good for a 121 wRC+ in an offense-suppressing ballpark. He’s also a plus defender. I’d say that he’s not only better than average, he’s probably in the top six or seven 3B in MLB. Last year, he was probably the third best 3B in baseball, behind only Cabrera and Wright. Not saying that he can’t be traded for the right deal, but the team will certainly be hard-pressed to find a better third baseman.

  4. 4d3fect - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    I started when I saw the headline; images flew through my head of drunken/drug-fueled rampages through the Gaslamp, carrying women away and terrorizing children and tourists.

    Then my coffee kicked in and my brain began to digest the body of the article.

  5. icanspeel - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    It’s the best overall infield the Padres have had for a long time. People overlook defense, but their defense has been excellent and hitting above average.

  6. 13arod - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    chase headly said he was going to test free aceny so they can’t

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