Should The Padres Try To Sign Headley Long-Term?

The Padres are off to a somewhat surprising 6-6 start to the season, thanks in no small part to some late inning heroics by third baseman Chase Headley. The 25-year-old is hitting .375/.423/.521 through 12 games, and has established himself as the cleanup hitter behind megastar Adrian Gonzalez.

Headley won't be a free agent until after the 2014 season and he won't qualify as a Super Two next season, so the Padres can enjoy his production for close to the league minimum both this year and next. However, buying out his arbitration years and perhaps a free agent year or two would give the team some cost certainty should his breakout continue, and it would also give Headley some long-term financial security.

There's no obvious historical comparison for a long-term deal. Both Ryan Zimmerman and David Wright had more service time when they signed their deals, and of course their performance is a notch above Headley's right now. Evan Longoria has a similar amount of service time at the moment and will be paid just $13.45MM during what would be his last four years of team control, though he's vastly underpaid. 

Longoria's framework might not be too far off base, so perhaps something along the lines of four years (2011-2014) and $15MM with some options beyond that makes some sense for the Padres and Headley. There's certainly no rush for the team considering he's still in his pre-arb years, but if he keeps hitting, it's only going to get more and more expensive for San Diego to sign what looks like their next great homegrown player long-term. 

27 Responses to Should The Padres Try To Sign Headley Long-Term? Leave a Reply

  1. scatterbrian 5 years ago

    “The 25-year-old is hitting .375/.423/.521 through 12 games, and has established himself as the cleanup hitter behind megastar Adrian Gonzalez.”

    Established? Regardless of the fact that you’re basing this establishment off 12 games, dude’s got a completely unsustainable .405 BABIP. I’m not writing this start off, but it’s way too early to call it a breakout, let alone talking long-term deals in the same breath as Longoria, Zimmerman and Wright.

    • Mario Saavedra 5 years ago

      Completely agree, he hasn’t even established as the 4th hitter, I think Blanks will be. Us padre fans haven’t forgotten about 2009 and that he gets K a ton, neither.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    headley is no longoria.

    • scatterbrian 5 years ago

      But Headley would never let some jackass steal his cap.

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Great. Let me also go out on a limb and say that Will Venable is no Ryan Braun.

  3. Yankees10 5 years ago

    No way. Its only 12 games. If he keeps it up the entire season than maybe I would consider it, but probably not. I don’t think he will become anything special as a player.

  4. Headley is not on the same level as the Longoria/Zimmerman/Wright, especially in the power department or in the field. But if the Padres could get him a deal close to Longoria’s that would be a solid move, considering just how much of a steal the deal is for the Rays. Headley may never reach star status but he should be a solid major league player.

  5. vapadres 5 years ago

    Another thing to consider is the Padres depth at third. Do Darnell, Forsythe, etc. project as better than Headley on either side/both sides of the ball. Should they wait and see how those guys do and perhaps trade Headley for a more significant need

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Forsythe has been moved to 2nd.

    • That’s a point, but if you have him under contract, how does that lower his trade value. If its a team friendly deal, then he would more valuable on the trade market then with just team controlled years.

    • Yankees10 5 years ago

      Headley can also play left. I know Blanks is there now but if they do in fact trade Gonzalez, Blanks could move back to first and Headley could play LF.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        That will never happen.

        • Yankees10 5 years ago

          And why exactly? You say it won’t happen and don’t give a reason.

          • The answer is pretty simple.
            1. Headley was uncomfortable in the outfield, and the team believes it affected his batting.
            2. There are other option for the outfield ready, but not for 3rd.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            The Padres have committed to “playing Petco park into an advantage.” Pitching, speed, defense. Headley in LF, in NO way fits the mold that GM Jed Hoyer is trying to implement.

            As CJ pointed out, Headley was not comfortable in LF, it was OBVIOUS.

            There are other players on the depth chart that fit the mold of Petco in the minors. Durango, Cunningham (speed,athleticism,) being two of those players. To add to that, as it is they do not think having Blanks in LF is “ideal” either. Having said that Blanks is already a better outfielder than Headley was.

            And yes, when Adrian is traded, Blanks is at 1st base. Its as simple as that.

          • myk13 5 years ago


          • myk13 5 years ago

            Because Headley was freaking horrible in LF. I’m a big time Chase fan and loved that they traded Kouz and moved him back to 3B. Where he belongs, I never want to see him in LF again.

  6. diehardmets 5 years ago

    If he keeps up this hot start into a breakout campaign, he should get Longoria’s deal exactly. Maybe a little less.

  7. withpower 5 years ago

    In 1000 major league plate appearances Headley owns a .269/.344./.406/.750 line. Pretty much exactly a league average hitter.

    • turtle11 5 years ago

      However, he’s also an improving 25 year old with a career .308/.371/.441 away from Petco Park, now playing his natural position for the first time in the bigs. If people knew that line, he’d be much more heralded. I’m going to say he’ll be an above average player from here on out..

  8. padam 5 years ago

    I’ve watched him play for the Missions for a year and have to say he isn’t anywhere close to Wright, Zimmerman or Longoria. Lock him up? Let’s see if he can produce two solid years before you consider giving him a nice contract.

  9. Sd_brain 5 years ago

    the pads should still let forsythe do some catching to see how that he is behind the plate

  10. fameboxx 5 years ago

    chase hadely is a good player i alwys like to see him playing

  11. Dude played pretty good against my Braves last week. Not Longoria, Zimmerman, or Wright but he looked good. The Padres got a real good nucleus if they don’t sell off Gonzo and Bell. I was impressed with Richard and Latos. I saw Latos last year too and he looks like he is gonna be a stud. Correia looks like a solid back end guy and if Young ever gets healthy they have the staff to compete. Blanks and Cabrera are gonna be special they just seem to need a few pieces, a real second baseman and another outfield bat. They can win that division this year if Blanks, Headley, and Cabrera continue to improve. I watched the Braves play San Fran just before the Padres series and even though Wagner coughed one up and we dropped 2 of 3 to the Giants, I still think the Padres were more impressive overall. IMO, Padres fans have a little something to be excited about as long as ownership doesn’t get rid of Gonzo.

  12. myk13 5 years ago

    Guys, this article is not comparing him to Zimmerman, Wright and Longoria, if you read it, you will see it is comparing him to when they signed their contracts…the point of their careers.

  13. Guest 5 years ago

    About time.

  14. coup 5 years ago

    Headley won the game for the padres in getting to thridbase via a steal and foul out. Three SB’s tonight.

    He’s been in the middle of every game lately. I’m impressed.

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