In theory, the San Diego Padres would love to keep Chase Headley long term. Then again, in a contract year, he stands to be a seriously valuable trade piece come the middle of the summer if San Diego is not in contention.
The trade rumors will persist once again in 2014, as neither side has engaged the other about a contract extension this spring. Headley says that he plans to stay in San Diego, though did anybody really expect him to say he cannot wait to leave after the season or something like that? Quotes from the San Diego Union Tribune:
I think that’s best for everybody involved…It’s not fair to the guys in this clubhouse to have anybody’s attention focused on anything but trying to win and trying to do your best for the team.
I don’t want to put my foot down and say nothing’s gonna happen, but at this point it certainly seems that we’ll table these until the end of the season.”
If Headley had performed anything like his 2012 campaign in 2013, he might be a lot more motivated to make the Padres pony up a multi-year deal this spring before the season starts. Now, coming off an OK but unspectacular .250/.347/.400 campaign, he needs to prove that 2012 was no fluke and that he deserves to get paid like the top-5 MVP candidate that he was that year.
With the chance to get paid as a free agent, Headley is probably all too happy to put the contract extension talks on hold and see how things shake out. The Padres are likely happy to do the same and field phone calls all year with trade offers. All in all, there might be no contract extension talks here, but there are no hard feelings either.