2012 has been a weird baseball season for me. I do not have COX or Directv, so watching the Padres regularly has become a laborious chore. The team was as bad as I have ever seen in the first few months of the season, and now it seems like they have turned the corner. I am really excited for what the future holds for Padres baseball. New ownership, tremendous talent, extensions for veteran players. Yes, believe it or not, it is an exciting time for all of us Padres fans. However, if you know anything about me from this or the other sites I have written for, I am a huge pessimist. Allow me to elaborate.
Despite all of the games the Padres have won, they are nowhere near being in a pennant race. 2012 effectively ended in May, and I have turned the page to 2013. The games that San Diego has won, ultimately do not mean much in the grand scheme of things. Right now, the Padres are what they are: a fourth place team in a crappy division.
The Padres have been blessed by an MVP-type season by Chase Headley. Chase Headley!? You know, the same punchless third baseman I assumed would be traded by now. The same Chase Headley who hit 4 home runs in all of 2011. Before this season, Headley seemed to be another disappointing Padres draft pick who never turned into a star. Well, Headley has blossomed, sort of like that girl you ignored in high school, who is now a bikini model.
Where did this Headley come from? Part of me cannot think about PED’s. No, I am not accusing Headley of juicing, but a guy who has increased his home run total sevenfold is bound to draw some suspicion. I mean, is it a new workout regime, or has Headley just blossomed into a star at 28? Is he motivated by the allure of a new contract, or perhaps a trade to a bandbox? I love ya Chase, but I cannot help but be suspicious.
For a moment, lets be optimisitic, and say that Headley has become a superstar. The best homegrown talent since Tony Gwynn. A building block for future championship teams. How on Earth would the Padres keep him. Yes, Headley is under team control until 2014. However, each RBI, and homer makes him more expensive. Headley will likely cost in excess of $6 million to retain. In today’s game, that is an absolute steal. In 2013, he could cost more than $10 million. As he approaches free agency, it will be more than that. How can the Padres possibly retain his services?
I wish I could more positive, but negativity is what I know. I hope that the Padres turn the corner, and Headley’s evolution into an MVP candidate continues. However, I will not hold my breath.