Padres, Chase Headley avoid arbitration

The San Diego Padres still have not reached a long-term extension with Chase Headley, but they may have gotten a bargain for this year.  The team and their third baseman slugger have agreed to a one-year contract that will allow the sides to avoid arbitration.  Headley will be getting a nice raise compared to his 2012 salary, but it seems he will make far less than he would have if he had been a free agent after last season.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Padres and Headley have agreed to a one-year, $8.575 million deal.  The contract represents more than a $5 million raise over his 2012 salary, but it falls well short of Headley's request submitted to the arbitrator.  He was looking for $10.3 million.

Headley had a breakout year last season.  After being a decent hitter for most of his career, Headley found his power in 2012.  And he did so mostly in the second half of the seasons.  Headley hit 30 home runs last season, a career-high, and he led the National League in RBI with 115.  Both are tasty numbers for an arbitrator and would likely have netted Headley more than the $8.575 million he settled for.

The team has tabled discussions about a long-term extension for now.  They currently have him under team control through the end of the 2014 season.  Padres' GM Josh Byrnes has continuously said he feels there is no need to rush the extension talks because they are so far away from Headley's free agent year.  Of course, if Headley continues to put up huge numbers, Byrnes may have just allowed Headley to price himself out of the Padres market.

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