Spring 2014 is proving to be an exciting time for San Diego Padres fans compared to recent years. The front office didn’t land any big name free agents, Japanese League stand-outs, or Cuban defectors to boost their roster. However, an agreement between Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports San Diego to air the full 2014 season has put a slight pep in the step of hometown faithfuls.
As spring training has gotten underway in Peoria, questions about the organization’s commitment to one of the few bright spots in the line-up are up in the air. Chase Headley stated on Monday that he and Padre’s brass are not currently discussing a contract extension. Last season Headley struggled, posting a slash line of .250/.347/.400 with 13 homers and 50 RBI, a sizable drop from his Silver Slugger Award winning 2012 campaign (.286/.376/.498, 31, 115; 5th in MVP voting).
The Padres are a long-shot contender in 2014. Their payroll of $67 million is half that of the San Francisco Giants, and a third of the Los Angeles Dodgers. If they trade Headley they’ll add more talent to their top 10 farm system and quietly assume a seat towards the bottom of the N.L. West.
Holding on to the 29 year old could prove fatal if he fails to regain his form, and if he walks after the season’s end they get nothing. Headley’s spring value isn’t as high as it was nearing the 2013 trade deadline, and if posts similar numbers to last season throughout the early part of 2014, his value will continue to decrease.
In all likelihood, Chase Headley will not finish the season wearing camouflage uniforms on Sundays. Pondering when and where he will be dealt is a better use of our time.. So let’s ponder!
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