In a recent article about the St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Surplus, Joel Sherman of the New York Post stated that the Padres are leaning towards retaining third baseman Chase Headley heading into his Free Agent season. Sherman appears to have removed this statement from his article sometime recently. The fact that he spoke so confidently about San Diego Padres internal discussions, then removed it, would lead one to believe that he may have printed something said to him in confidence without approval.
Honestly, I don’t think that Sherman said anything that we didn’t all already know. After producing a slash of .286/.376/.498 in 2012 and seeing his numbers drop to .250/.347/.400 in 2013, it stands to reason that the Padres would prefer to see if Headley can regain his 2012 form this coming season. You would have to assume that the offers the Padres are fielding now as opposed to last off season are somewhat disappointing. The Padres feel like they are going to be contenders this year and would prefer to see where they are in the standings with Headley come the 2014 trade deadline. Chances are that the Padres will be in a good position at the trade deadline and will have an even tougher decision to make.
Chase Headley will be a Padre come Opening Day 2014. Barring another injury this preseason, I think he will return to close to his 2012 production level. The odds of Headley testing the Free Agent market after next season would then increase dramatically. The Padres would have to choose to make a playoff run with Headley and receive nothing when he leaves or trade him for a few needs and hope that Jedd Gyorko or someone else can handle third base. Not many teams who will be contending down the stretch will be in dire need of a Third Baseman. My prediction is that Headley will be traded to the Wild Card contending Kansas City Royals for bullpen help (Aaron Crow) and a top-5 prospect (Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio). Not a huge haul but, it’s about the best you can get for a player who probably wouldn’t be re-signing at season’s end anyway.