Chase Headley Rumors
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that some league executives feel that the new-and-improved PED testing will have a drastic effect on the power numbers of players. That feeling has given some owners pause about committing long-term deals until they know how it will all play out. “We’re all anxious to see what the result of the testing will be, but we’re anticipating that it will have a significant effect on the numbers, which will impact the game in general,” said an American League owner. “I think a few owners feel the way we do, that we’re going to see noticeable physical changes in players and their stamina in getting through a 162-game schedule.” Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Yankees have explored temporary options to fill-in for the injured Mark Teixeira but they have also looked into more significant moves. The Bombers have inquired on the Padres' Chase Headley, though we learned recently that he's not available at this time. However, Headley could be on the market this summer.
- If shortstop Jose Iglesias continues to hit in spring training, Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox might be open to dealing Stephen Drew down the line. The Cardinals pursued Drew this offseason and they are looking for help with Rafael Furcal sidelined. Drew cannot be traded until June 15 without his approval.
- Teams have a number of reasons why they say they are not interested in Kyle Lohse, but Cafardo isn't buying any of them. He feels that some team will happily give him a one-year, $10MM contract. He would be a great fit in tfhe National League and Cafardo suggests the Brewers as a good fit.
- There is more interest in Dodgers lefty Ted Lilly than fellow surplus starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. The Dodgers are holding on to all of them until they know that Chad Billingsley is fully recovered after undergoing treatments to his elbow this offseason.
- A National League scout suggested that Phillies outfielder John Mayberry might be a good fit for the Yankees at first base, with a switch back to the outfield after Teixeira returns. Mayberry is a former first baseman and was used there last season when Ryan Howard was out of action.
Teams hoping to trade for Chase Headley will have to wait -- at least for a few months. Padres general manager Josh Byrnes told Peter Gammons of MLB Network that San Diego executives have worked hard to assemble an improved offensive team. “We're not breaking it up now," Byrnes said (Twitter links). As Gammons notes, it’s possible the Padres will re-consider their stance in July. Here are some notes from around MLB...
- Carlos Marmol’s name surfaced in trade talk this week, but said today that he expects to be with the Cubs all year despite the rumors. "I don't believe in anything," he said, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he intends to keep managing as long as he can, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). "I'm not retiring, whether we win or we don't win," Leyland said. The 68-year-old obtained a one-year contract from the Tigers after leading the team to the World Series.
- Many of the teams expected to contend in 2013 are already facing significant questions, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com writes. The Tigers (closer), Cardinals (shortstop), Yankees (lineup), Rangers (rotation) and Dodgers (outfield) have issues to address this spring.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka can opt out of his deal with the Indians on March 26th, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka may be the next Japanese pitcher to turn a strong World Baseball Classic performance into a nine-figure Major League contract, ESPN's C.J. Nitkowski writes (Insider subscription required). Tanaka, 24, has a 2.50 ERA, 8.6 K/9 and 4.34 K/BB ratio in 1103 IP over six seasons with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Tanaka has expressed interest in pitching in North America and is three years away from international free agency, though Rakuten could open the posting process before then.
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- The Padres are starting to listen to offers for Chase Headley, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports. The Padres tabled extension talks with Headley earlier this winter after the two sides were far apart on terms. The third baseman is under contract through the 2014 season and Madden argues that the Yankees should make a move for a young star like Headley or Giancarlo Stanton in order to bolster the lineup and ensure the team will contend this year.
- "The fact is, this is the right time to trade Stanton. He’s never going to have more value than this," a Marlins operative tells Madden, arguing that such an unpopular move can't hurt a team that is already at rock bottom in terms of public perception. “I understand Jeffrey [Loria]’s getting killed in Miami over blowing up the team this winter and why he doesn’t want to trade Stanton. But how much more can we get killed? He’s already had some injury issues, and we’re never going to sign him to a long-term deal," Madden's source said.
- Carl Crawford criticized the Boston media and told CBS Sports' Danny Knobler that he erred in signing with the Red Sox in the 2010-11 offseason. "It just wasn't the right place for me at the end of my day. I didn't do my homework. Maybe they didn't, either," Crawford said.
- If the Tigers do acquire a reliever, MLB.com's Jason Beck believes such a deal isn't likely until nearer to the end of Spring Training when other teams have their own bullpen situations settled.
- Chone Figgins feels a lack of playing time exacerbated his struggles with the Mariners and is looking forward to seeing more action playing under NL rules with the Marlins, The Associated Press reports.
- Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster have both looked good in Spring Training and the Red Sox could reap more than financial benefits from last summer's trade with the Dodgers if these two young pitchers develop, John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes. Tomase also talks to Rays manager Joe Maddon about how the Rays were targeting De La Rosa before L.A. dealt him to Boston.
- The Hernandez extension may seem like an overpay, but the alternative -- trading him for prospects and reallocating millions toward free agency -- might be less appealing than it initially seems. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains that there’s a considerable cost for teams that attempt to rebuild regularly.
- Buster Olney of ESPN.com explains how the Mariners could be viewed as both winners and losers following their deal with Hernandez. There's no ambiguity about the significance of the deal for Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and David Price, however; those three pitchers could be positioned for $200MM contracts, as Olney notes.
- Verlander exclaimed "Holy cow!" after hearing the news of Hernandez's deal with the Mariners, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Verlander will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season, and Nightengale notes that Verlander could be "baseball's first $200 million pitcher."
- Mike MacDougal will throw a bullpen for interested teams in Tempe this coming Tuesday, MLBTR has learned. The 35-year-old right-hander appeared in just seven games with Dodgers in 2012, but he posted a 2.05 ERA in 69 appearances with Los Angeles in 2011.
- The Padres should "seriously think" about trading Chase Headley before the start of the regular season, ESPN.com's Jim Bowden writes (subscription-only). Bowden notes that Headley is a free agent after 2014, and that he and the Padres haven't found common ground on a contract extension. Bowden lists the Reds, Mariners, Pirates, Blue Jays, Angels, Yankees and Tigers as possible trade destinations for Headley.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports lists the Blue Jays, Reds, Nationals and Braves as winners this offseason, while placing the Rangers, Brewers and Yankees among the losers. The Blue Jays top the list of winners after trading for Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey.
- Last night Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts and I discussed the Hernandez deal and the most improved teams in the league on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
Chase Headley avoided arbitration with the Padres by agreeing to a one-year, $8.575MM contract for 2013, and it has been widely assumed that the club would also explore a multiyear extension with its third baseman. San Diego GM Josh Byrnes said that the two sides had tabled extension talks for now, and Headley confirmed that there was a significant gap between his demands and what the Padres were willing to offer.
“We talked about a long-term contract briefly at the start of these negotiations,” Headley told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It was a quick discussion. We weren’t on the same page right from the start. This close to free agency, it has to be a good deal for us. You can’t sacrifice what’s fair.
“If we can do something that makes sense, I’d love to stay a Padre.”
Headley, 28, has one remaining arb-eligible year and is set to become a free agent following the 2014 season. Over 70.1% of voters in a recent MLBTR Poll said that the Padres would be wise to lock Headley up to a long-term contract, and while the team has had trouble keeping its top stars over the years, the Padres' new ownership group is known to want to reverse this trend, beginning with Headley. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested earlier this offseason that Headley could command a four-year deal worth between $41-$50MM.
Earlier tonight, the Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley by agreeing to a one-year, $8.575MM deal. The third baseman is under team control through 2015 and General Manager Josh Byrnes started dialogue with Headley's representatives about a contract extension earlier this winter, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock. However, those talks have been tabled for now. "We couldn't frame it up where it made sense for both sides," Byrnes said. In today's poll, nearly 70% of MLBTR readers said that it would make sense to lock Headley up long-term. Here's more from around baseball..
- The Dodgers, Blue Jays, Angels, Tigers, Orioles, Brewers, and Athletics were in Peoria, Arizona today to watch Kip Wells, Mark Lowe, and Ryan Rowland-Smith throw, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Wells, 35, made seven starts for the Padres last season and posted a 4.58 ERA with 20 walks and 19 strikeouts.
- The Yankees can dream about getting out from under Alex Rodriguez's contract, but there is very little chance of it happening, writes David Waldstein of the New York Times. Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted that the Yankees could pay just 15% of the $114MM owed to A-Rod if his hip injury is diagnosed as career-ending and he misses the entire season.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (video link) has a gut feeling that aces Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander will work out new contracts with their respective clubs before they get the chance to hit the open market.
- The Mariners need to add a dependable starting pitcher, opines Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Baker suggests that the M's should try and swing a trade for the Dodgers' Chris Capuano by sending Franklin Gutierrez back to the club where he started his pro baseball career.
The Padres and Chase Headley have agreed to a one-year, $8.575MM to avoid arbitration, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Headley is represented by Jim Murray of Excel Sports Management.
The third baseman filed for $10.3MM while the Padres countered with $7.075MM. Their agreed upon figure is just shy of the $8.688MM midpoint. Headley, who earned Super Two status following the 2010 season, will be arbitration eligible for the final time next winter. Beyond that, Headley is set to hit the open market after the 2014 season.
Headley enjoyed his best season to date in 2012, hitting .286/.376/.498 with a career-high 31 homers in 699 plate appearances. As MLBTR's Transactions Tracker shows, the Padres have just one arb eligible player remaining in Clayton Richard.
Chase Headley emerged as an MVP candidate in 2012, hitting a career-best 31 home runs and establishing career highs in on-base percentage (.376) and slugging percentage (.498). The 28-year-old will obtain a salary of at least $7.075MM in 2013 as an arbitration eligible player, and there's a chance he could obtain even more security in the form of a long-term extension.
The Padres have had some extension talks with Headley, though it doesn’t seem as though there’s currently much momentum toward a long-term contract between the Padres and the Excel Sports Management client. It’s a possibility worth considering, though. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in October that the ownership group led by Ron Fowler and the Seidler/O’Malley families seemed to want to sign Headley long term.
Extending Headley through his remaining arbitration years (2013-14) and some free agent seasons (2015 and beyond) no doubt has some appeal to a Padres team that has had trouble scoring runs in recent years. However, Headley is getting expensive -- he could require a commitment of $50MM-plus -- and Jedd Gyorko looms as an affordable internal alternative. Plus, the Padres can't be completely sure Headley will replicate his 2012 numbers. Should they pursue an extension for Headley?
Gregerson had filed for $3.75MM and the Padres had countered with $2.875MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. Gregerson, who remains on track to hit free agency following the 2014 season, settled slightly below the $3.312MM midpoint.
The Padres now have two unsigned arbitration eligible players: Chase Headley and Clayton Richard. The Padres are 'close' to settling with Richard, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). While the team has discussed a multiyear deal with Headley, an extension appears unlikely, Rosenthal writes.
The Mariners continue discussing an extension with Felix Hernandez, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The sides aren’t close to a deal, and are now “dancing.” However, Seattle is at least considering a four-year, $100MM offer, according to Rosenthal. It’s not clear if the Mariners have offered a nine-figure deal to Hernandez, whose current contract expires at the end of the 2014 season. The 26-year-old Octagon client would presumably want a longer commitment, as Rosenthal points out. Here are more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- The Mariners’ willingness to add veterans approaching free agency suggests GM Jack Zduriencik senses an urgency to win now in the view of some rival executives.
- Justin Upton won’t be traded for Chase Headley, an official from one of the teams involved told Rosenthal. Headley is two years away from free agency, however, and Rosenthal suggests that the Padres figure to move him eventually. Upton, another trade candidate, is under contract through 2015.
- The Diamondbacks and Rangers haven’t revived Upton-centered trade talks since the Mariners’ failed attempt at acquiring the 25-year-old right fielder. Rosenthal reports that the sides agreed to “move on.” When the teams were last in contact the Rangers offered a four-played package led by Mike Olt that would have included shortstop prospect Leury Garcia and either Martin Perez or Cody Buckel plus a fourth prospect.
- The Rangers continue pondering one significant move. They are viewed as possible destinations for Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn, and could also pursue relief help. The Rangers discussed right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard with the Nationals earlier this offseason, Rosenthal reports.
- The Nationals could trade Clippard or Drew Storen now that they’ve signed Rafael Soriano. One rival executive suggested Washington could sign Lohse, but Rosenthal writes that a deal with free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez seems more likely.