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?