Padres third baseman Chase Headley finished fifth in the NL MVP voting in 2012, and now he is about to enter his final season before qualifying for free agency. On Monday, the switch-hitter confirmed he and the team are not having any active talks regarding a long-term contract extension.
Chase Headley talked contract status today, said he hopes to remain in San Diego. No active discussions with the #Padres.— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) February 17, 2014
Headley, 29, is one of the best position players scheduled to hit free agency next winter. He will have some company at the hot corner though, as NL West mates Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are both due to become free agents as well. Hanley would also be an option at shortstop.
In 141 games last season, Headley hit .250/.347/.400 (116 OPS+) with 13 home runs. He missed the start of the year after suffering a fractured thumb sliding into a base during spring training. Headley hit .286/.376/.498 (145 OPS+) with 31 homers in 2012 and is a career .293/.366/.453 hitter away from cavernous Petco Park.
A healthy and typically productive year would probably put Headley in line for $100+ million next season. He's a switch-hitter who gets on base a lot, has some power and grades out very well defensively according to the various stats. Given the dearth of quality at the hot corner, Headley would be in very high demand in free agency.