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Padres not expected to move Chase Headley during the off-season

Dec 8, 2013, 10:50 PM EDT

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Though Chase Headley‘s name has been found in trade rumors every now and then, you can expect him to stay in San Diego for the time being, writes Bill Shaikin for the L.A. Times. Headley is eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time and is expected to get a bump over last year’s $8.575 million salary.

Headley fractured the tip of his left thumb during spring training and his production during the regular season suffered slightly as a result, his OPS dropping from .875 in 2012 to .747. His OPS in the first half of the season was a meager .689 but boosted to .829 in the second half. If the Padres were to trade him during the off-season, they would be selling low. Instead, they can hold on to him and allow him to continue to rebuild his value, then explore trading him prior to the July 31 deadline.

Shaikin writes that both Headley and the Padres have expressed interest in continuing their partnership, but there hasn’t been any progress made on a contract extension.

  1. gloccamorra - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Headley was on the trading block all season in 2012 – until the trade deadline passed. Then he went on a tear, hitting 9 homers in August, and 8 in September. Last year in June, the Padres were prepared to offer him a long term contract, but he said it was too distracting, and he had his worst month of the year in June.

    If that’s his pattern, he’s not going to build his value in 2014, he’ll be too distracted, especially when the trade rumors start up. His best bet might be a 2-year contract, not just the final arb year, knowing he’ll be with one team all 2014, to rebuild his value. If he wants more than the Padres will pay for a longer term, they can trade him next off-season, and teams will know what they’re getting.

  2. dylanthom2013 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    One thing they could do to build up his trade value is move the fences in so his numbers improve. Petco turns HR’s into catches at the warning track.

    • vanmorrissey - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Duh, that happened over a year ago and he put up these numbers in case you missed the memo. You don’t just “move the fences” on a whim for one player’s stats. That’s stupidity as well as exceedingly expensive.

      • dylanthom2013 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        Ok, maybe I’ll finally shut up about other teams’ parks…

  3. cowboysoldiertx - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Ive never been high on him in that I don’t see him as a big power bat. I see him as a 290-15-75 guy with a good glove.

    • icanspeel - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      I’d agree, that is pretty much the type of player he’d be. Padres can’t afford to gamble wrong on him or else he’d probably be signed to an extension already. Sounds like Headley and Padres will just play the waiting game. Irony is, if he doesn’t play well they probably won’t try to sign him and if he does play well he will play past any amount the Padres would offer.

  4. Joe - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Is there any reason to not think of 2012 as an outlier for Headley. Certainly 2013 fits the performance he’s displayed throughout the rest of his MLB career.

    • Joe - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Missed a question mark. Dag nabbit!

    • gloccamorra - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      Yes, there’s a reason to think he’s better than last year. He missed the first two weeks with a jammed thumb, and had knee surgery after the season, hiding the fact it was bothering him all year. His 2012 season was the last two months after the trading deadline, and it was the year he turned 28. It’s not unusual for a player to “turn it on” about that age, especially since he’d worked the previous off-season on pulling the ball more, especially when swinging right handed, since the Petco fences in left are shorter.

      2014 he turns 30 in May, so he might have 3-4 years of 25+ homers in him. Otherwise, .290-15-75 is worth more than the $10 mil he’ll get this year in arbitration, and don’t underestimate the glove, it’s better than good. He’s also the quiet, earnest type who commands respect in the clubhouse. If you think that last item isn’t worth something, you’ve probably never heard of “addition by subtraction” as a way to improve a team. “A by S” is used to remove a clubhouse cancer, but Headley offers a positive there that’s extremely valuable to a club, whether you believe in team chemistry or not.

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