The San Diego Padres avoided arbitration with their best hitter today, signing third baseman Chase Headley to a one-year deal.
Chase Headley has reached an agreement with the Padres for $8.575 million, a raise of $5.1 million over last year.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 31, 2013
I feel obligated to say that I never thought Chase Headley would rake in that kind of money on a one-year deal. I do not think that opinion was unfounded; Headley did not show enough pop before this past season to warrant that kind of consideration. In 2012 that corner infielder pop showed up in a big way. Headley posted 31 home runs, 115 RBI, and a frighteningly good .875 OPS. If people are going to insist on detracting from the Rockies’ offensive statistics because of Coors Field, does that mean Padres hitters get extra credit for theirs? If that’s the case, Headley gets some serious dap for that season.
Like Dexter Fowler on the Rockies, Headley’s breakout season was a bright spot for the Padres and makes him invaluable to their lineup. Also like Fowler, Headley is a switch hitter and he has a beard. That’s neat.
Quick story: I actually played against Headley in high school. Well, kinda. My high school played against his high school. I didn’t actually play, but you better believe I was in uniform and 100% ready to pinch run at a moment’s notice. Otherwise I was probably engaged in a riveting conversation about the merits of Ranch flavored sunflower seeds. Oh, and he was really, really good.
Back to Fowler: he remains unsigned for the time being. To recap: Fowler’s number is $5.150 million, the Rockies’ number is $4.250 million. The middle ground is a tidy $4.700 million (thanks to MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration tracker for the numbers…math isn’t really my thing). That would be for a one year contract, of course. Recently we learned that the Rockies are open to a multi-year deal for Fowler. That is good news.
If I were the Rockies, I would sweeten the pot for Fowler on the following conditions. He will trigger bonuses if he keeps his beard looking fresh and if he wears high socks a certain number of games a season (I propose 125 myself). Just a couple suggestions.