Chase Headley Rumors
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.
Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.
MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights -- players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details...
- Clayton Richard filed for $5.55MM while the Padres offered $4.905MM, according to CBSSports.com.
- Martin Prado filed for $7.05MM while the Braves countered with $6.65MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Sergio Romo filed for $4.5MM and the Giants countered at $2.675MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Max Scherzer filed at $7.4MM and the Tigers offered $6.05MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Jason Hammel filed at $8.25MM and the Orioles offered $5.7MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). Jim Johnson filed at $7.1MM and the Orioles countered at $5.7MM.
- Homer Bailey filed at $5.8MM and the Reds filed at $4.75MM, Heyman tweets.
- Jordan Zimmermann filed at $5.8MM and the Nationals offered $4.6MM, Heyman tweets.
- Dexter Fowler filed at $5.15MM with the Rockies offering $4.25MM, Heyman tweets
- Shin-Soo Choo filed at $8MM and the Reds offered $6.75MM, Heyman tweets.
- Chase Headley filed for $10.3MM with the Padres countering at $7.075MM, Heyman tweets.
- Mat Latos asked for $4.7MM and the Reds offered $4.15MM, Heyman tweets.
- Jason Motte filed at $5.5MM and the Cardinals offered $4.5MM, Heyman tweets.
- David Murphy filed at $6.5MM and the Rangers offered $5.05MM, Heyman tweets.
The Orioles showed serious interest in Justin Upton before talks with the Diamondbacks sputtered, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night. Here are some more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- Rosenthal hears from one executive who expects the Padres to make another significant move. However, the Padres like their group of young starting pitchers and aren’t inclined to make a strong play for one of the remaining free agent starters. San Diego could still trade for a pitcher such as Rick Porcello, Luke Hochevar or Aaron Harang.
- Talks about a deal involving Upton and Chase Headley didn’t progress, Rosenthal reports.
- The Orioles continue seeking starting pitching and Joe Saunders remains a target. The Orioles also checked in on Porcello, according to Rosenthal.
- Though the Orioles spoke with Lance Berkman before he signed with the Rangers, they weren’t interested in spending big for the switch-hitting DH.
- Jeff Karstens, Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook and Jair Jurrjens are among the possibilities the Rockies are considering. The Rockies wouldn’t offer all of those pitchers Major League deals, however.
- Rosenthal suggests free agent reliever Rafael Soriano could be a longshot for the Rockies. Colorado would have to surrender its second round draft pick to sign the Scott Boras client.
- The Phillies continue seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder, Rosenthal reports. They’re still considering free agent Scott Hairston and trade candidates Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells. It’s possible the Phillies will go with platoons in both corner outfield positions.
Over the next few weeks, I will be discussing some of the higher profile upcoming arbitration cases. I will rely partly on my arbitration model developed exclusively for MLB Trade Rumors (read more about it here), but will also break out some interesting comparables and determine where the model might be wrong.
Chase Headley will go to arbitration for the third time after having a career year. He had never hit more than 12 home runs or knocked in more than 64 runs, but this past season, he hit 31 home runs and led the National League with 115 RBIs. The Excel Sports Management client also tied a career high with 17 stolen bases, and hit .286. He also had 694 plate appearances (a very important factor in arbitration cases). As a result of a largely average history with the bat, Headley only made $3.475MM in 2012, but the model has him projected to earn $8.3MM next year, a $4.825MM raise. However, Headley is a unique case because he has so few comparables. It's not every year that a player bursts onto the scene and leads the league in RBIs as a third time arbitration eligible player. When we look through the comparables, you can see that there is reason to take the under on this projection, though it is certainly in the right neighborhood.
The ideal comparable for Headley would be a third baseman in his third year of arbitration eligibility who had 30 HR and 100 RBI. My database looks at the last six years and sees that no such player exists. In many situations, third basemen can be compared to first basemen and outfielders (and in rarer situations middle infielders). Even that expansion gives us players who had multiyear deals, which are rarely used for comparison in arbitration cases, and those hitters are not very good comparables either. However, if we loosen the home runs and RBI criteria, we do find a few guys who could come up in Headley’s case, though he has a better case than all of them.
If we restrict ourselves only to players who had 20 HR and 80 RBI going into their third year of eligibility, and who did not get multiyear deals, we see seven players in the last six years. All of these players are first basemen or outfielders, but they are better comparisons than any third basemen.
The largest raise of the group went to Prince Fielder, who got a $4MM raise in 2011. He had only 20 more plate appearances than Headley did last year (714 vs. 694) and one more home run (32 vs. 31). However, his .261 average falls short of Headley’s .286, his 83 RBIs are dwarfed by Headley’s 115, and he only stole one base to Headley’s 17. Since pre-platform year performance has little effect on arbitration cases after the first year of eligibility, Headley would seem to have a better case than Fielder.
However, Fielder’s season was actually bested by Mark Teixeira, who only got a $3.5MM raise in 2008. Since his case is five years old now, it is not a great comparison, but with a .306 average, 30 home runs, and 105 RBI, Teixeira nearly matched Headley in power numbers, while having a better average. However, Teixeira only got 575 plate appearances and stole no bases. The Padres could try to argue that Headley should be comparable to Teixeira, but the fact that the contract is “stale” and Teixeira's relatively low plate appearance total probably suggests Headley can do better.
Hunter Pence got a $3.5MM raise last year after hitting .314 with 22 home runs and 97 RBIs, while swiping eight bases. Pence also had 668 plate appearances, which makes him a good comparable for Headley. Although Headley’s power numbers were better, his batting average was worse, so the Padres could argue that Pence’s raise might be applicable.
Xavier Nady in 2009 was similar to Headley in that he suddenly had the best year of his career as a third-year arbitration eligible hitter. He was only making $3.35MM in 2008 (similar to Headley’s $3.475MM in 2012), and then hit .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs. He only got 607 plate appearances and stole only two bases, so overall his numbers are a little worse than Headley’s, but his $3.2MM raise could be seen as a floor for Headley if Fielder’s case is not seen as comparable, since the Padres could try to argue that Headley’s career trajectory best matches Nady’s.
An alternative might be B.J. Upton, who had a .243 average with 23 home runs and 81 RBIs, but stole 36 bases while racking up 640 plate appearances going into last year’s cases. He only got a $2.175MM raise. However, his clearly inferior numbers other than stolen bases and the fact that he is a center fielder make him a weak comparable.
The other two players to meet the criteria specified above were Adam LaRoche in 2009, who was coming off a .270/25/85 season, and Austin Kearns in 2007, who was coming off a .264/24/86 season. Since both are clearly inferior cases to Headley’s and older, their $2.15MM and $1.65MM raises probably won’t be seen as useful in Headley’s case.
If we instead decide to consider multiyear deals as comparable, it is notable that Matt Kemp’s deal gave him a $5.05MM raise last year after hitting .324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBIs, and 40 stolen bases. The fact that he got a multiyear deal with a substantially higher average annual value than his 2012 salary makes this difficult to use, but it does give us some sense that a $5MM raise would be pushing it.
The best comparable among these for Headley is probably Fielder, though you could make a compelling case for Teixeira. If Fielder’s $4MM raise is seen as a floor, and Headley gets a few extra bucks for his average, RBIs, and steals, then Headley could be given something like a $4.25-4.5MM raise, which would put him at $7.725-$7.975. This is below the model’s $8.3MM projection, but it might be more reflective of a good estimate in this unique case.
11:37pm: The Padres and D'Backs found no match in trade talks about Upton or Jason Kubel, reports Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). San Diego doesn't want to move Headley and they don't have a spot for Kubel with Carlos Quentin on the roster.
3:27pm: The Padres and Diamondbacks have had on-and-off discussions about a deal involving Justin Upton and Chase Headley since July, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, those talks have yet to result in a deal.
Even though that deal hasn't worked out, the Diamondbacks continue to discuss Upton with other clubs, including the Rangers and Mariners while also considering offers for Jason Kubel. The Rangers want to build a package around third baseman Mike Olt rather than shortstop Elvis Andrus or infielder Jurickson Profar and they're willing to add a top pitching prospect and a third quality piece to the package, sources say.
However, sources tell Rosenthal that the D'Backs believe they could make an even better deal for Upton with another club like the Mariners, who are aggressively trying to add a power hitter. However, as we've heard before, Seattle is on Upton's four-team no-trade list and he's not inclined to approve a deal to the M's. The Mariners might be able to change Upton's mind with a lucrative contract extension.
Earlier this week we learned that the Braves have also inquired on Upton.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive VP of labor relations, told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he’s not ready to say baseball’s collective bargaining agreement needs changes. While the CBA appears to have limited the market for certain players who declined qualifying offers, Manfred says it’s still early. “I’m not inclined to get into a discussion about changing an agreement when it hasn’t even operated for a full year.” As Rosenthal points out, draft pick compensation places an artificial burden on free agents. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- The Rangers aren’t a perfect fit for Justin Upton, because their lineup already includes many right-handed hitters, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney notes (Twitter links). The Braves could be a better fit, and could deal from a surplus of pitching. Olney reported yesterday that the Diamondbacks are open to dealing the right fielder.
- The Pirates haven’t announced their two-year, $12.75MM agreement with Francisco Liriano, but MLB.com’s Tom Singer still expects the deal to go through (Twitter link). The Pirates have been trying to get the left-hander to Pittsburgh for a physical.
- The Orioles have not watched free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez work out and they have no current plans to attend any of his scheduled sessions, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports (on Twitter). That said, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggested today that the Orioles could have some interest (Twitter link).
- Within an in-depth piece about third baseman Chase Headley, Padres GM Josh Byrnes revealed to MLB.com's Corey Brock that he pushed for the Red Sox to draft Headley back in 2005 when he was in the Boston front office. Headley, 28, is arbitration eligible for the third time this offseason.
Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune is back with his regular chat with fans about the Padres, and here are some of the relevant hot stove items...
- The Padres have been talking to right-hander Brett Myers, according to Myers' agent. San Diego would use Myers as a starting pitcher, which is Myers' preferred role after spending 2012 coming out of the bullpen for the Astros and White Sox.
- The Tigers are reconsidering trading Rick Porcello, who has drawn attention from the Padres and several other clubs since Detroit re-signed Anibal Sanchez. If Porcello is available, Center feels it would take more than a rumored trade package of Luke Gregerson and Jesus Guzman for the Padres to acquire the right-hander.
- It's a "gamble on both sides" for Chase Headley and the Padres that there are apparently no extension talks taking place between the club and the third baseman. Headley is under team control for two more years, but a repeat of his 2012 numbers could make him too expensive for the Padres to lock up.
- Everth Cabrera has drawn trade interest but most clubs (including the Padres) aren't sure if he is capable of being an everyday shortstop. Center notes that San Diego has been shopping "several" of its middle infielders this winter.
- The Padres are "actively seeking" starting pitching but aren't going to be forced into making a bad signing just for the sake of adding an arm to the rotation.
- Between Porcello, Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders, Center lists Marcum as the most likely of the trio to be a Padre in 2013, followed by Saunders and Porcello in that order.
- The Padres won't be adding another outfielder as they already have several options on the roster.
- Center doesn't expect the Padres to have a $100MM payroll within the next few years, even adding an "if ever" to the idea.
- The Padres want to bring back Dustin Moseley and Tim Stauffer on minor league contracts. The two pitchers elected to become free agents in October following injury-plagued 2012 seasons.
- Center hasn't heard of the Padres having any interest in Carlos Zambrano.