Found September 25, 2012 on MLB Injury News:
Mlb_jun_06_3df2


The San Diego Padres have managed to extend five key players since the end of last season; Cameron Maybin, Nick Hundley, Cory Luebke, Carlos Quentin, and Huston Street.  One player whom the Padres have not extended is Chase Headley.  Headley is having a breakout season this year, and he was the source of countless rumors as the July 31st non-waiver deadline approached.  The Padres were not shy about the fact that they were shopping their 28-year old third baseman.  However, San Diego has eased up on their desire to move Headley and are open to an offseason extension.  
The Padres have Jedd Gyorko waiting in the wings to replace Headley at third base, and based on the limited third baseman market this winter, the Padres would certainly get a big return on any trade involving Headley.  However, beyond Headley's power-surge this season, the Padres have added reason to consider keeping him.  His durability.  
Headley's health is a commodity in high demand with the Padres.  San Diego has seen an abnormal number of players hit the disabled list this season.  On the pitching staff alone, the Padres have been forced to use 15 different starting pitchers.  As the Padres weigh whether or not to trade Headley, they will need to consider his ability to stay healthy and stay on the field.

  This season, no other third baseman in baseball has played more games than Headley.  In fact, Headley has played in all but one game this season - tied with Miguel Cabrera at 152 games-played.  There are only seven third baseman that have played in more than 140 games so far this season.  And 2012 is not an anomaly for Headley.  
Headley did suffer a fractured finger in 2011 and was limited to 113 games, but since he became a full-time Major Leaguer in 2009, he has played in at least 150 games in three out of the last four seasons.  That 2011 season saw Headley fracture his pinkie finger in August.  He still managed to post the highest OBP on the team at .374.  
Even with Headley's injury limitation in 2011 - a rare occurrence for him - Headley still ranked 18th in the league in games-played.  In 2010, he once again led the league in games-played with 161.  In 2009, he was seventh with 156 games.  Since 2009, Headley has played in the third-most games among all third basemen in baseball with 582.  Only Michael Young (597) and Jhonny Peralta (586) have played in more.  
According to Fangraphs, in his 582 games, Headley was worth 15.8 WAR - higher than Young or Peralta by a large margin.  From 2009-2012, Headley has actually posted the fifth-highest WAR among all third basemen in baseball.  Only Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Adrian Beltre, and David Wright have accumulated more WAR.  That's pretty good company for a guy who also plays in more games than most.  
In his career, Headley has hit .272/.349/.414.  He has never hit more than 12 home runs in a season until now.  However, this season Headley is hitting .281/.370/.486 with 29 home runs.  His trade value has skyrocketed this season, but so has his contract value.  
Had the Padres extended Chase Headley after last season, they could have done so for much less than it will take to do so now.  Headley will be entering his second to last year of arbitration eligibility, so if San Diego were to extend his contract, they would want to buy out this final two years of arbitration and at least a couple years of free agency.  Arbitrators place more value on home runs and RBI than anything on the offensive side of things.  Therefore, Headley is due for a substantial raise this offseason.  He is currently making $3.48 million.  
A year like Headley is having this season, 6.8 WAR according to Fangraphs, would net him a huge contract in free agency.  He would likely be able to grab a deal worth north of $10 million per season.  San Diego probably will not give him that in a contract extension because they do have two more years of control with Headley's arbitration years.  They will have to shell out something close to his potential free agent value, though.  Headley, like everyone in baseball, understands his skills would be magnified if he didn't play half his games at the run-supressing Petco Park, so it's difficult to imagine him taking a discounted contract to stay in San Diego.
The Padres' alternative is to, of course, trade Headley and go with rookie Jedd Gyorko.  Kevin Goldstein, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, ranked Jedd Gyorko as the third-best prospect in the Padres' organization coming into this season.  And Gyorko did not disappoint this year.  Between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, Gyorko hit .311/.373/.547 with 30 home runs in 126 games.  
Yet, Gyorko is a gamble.  Headley is the closest thing a team can get to a sure thing.  He hasn't quite hit his prime, he has finally proven himself a true power-hitter, and he is durable.  Headley's ability to play in more games than just about any other third baseman in baseball should make him well worth the contract extension in and of itself.  His skills should simply be the icing on the cake.   Follow @mlbinjurynews
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

End of Season Post-Mortem: San Diego Padres

And after a brief respite from bad teams getting eliminated, we're into the part of the season where teams roughly around league average are getting booted from the playoff race. First up are the San Diego Padres, who rebounded from an awful first half of the year to post a 39-27 record after the All-Star Break. If you're new here (which about 90% of our reader base is...

Stults has had a rebirth in San Diego

Left-handed starter Eric Stults is forcing the Padres to take a second look at their future pitching plans. As it is now, the Padres have only two starting pitchers -- left-hander Clayton Richard and right-hander Edinson Volquez -- they can depend on going into 2013. Right-hander Jason Marquis will file for free agency. Left-hander Cory Luebke certainly won't be ready for the...

Daily Friar 9.24.12

The Padres have been reverting back to their old formula of winning games of late. At the beginning of the year it was either be swept, or just win either the first or last game in a series just to show that we had a little life in us. Then once the All-Star break came around they started to win series and actually pull off some sweeps. The past two series, however, are very reminiscent...

Friars Drop Second Straight Series, This Time To Division Winning Giants.

The Padres lost their second straight series in the first two games, this time with the Giants celebrating a division title on Saturday night. Of the eight division titles won by San Francisco, six have been celebrated with wins against San Diego. The Padres have now lost four of their last six games and have fallen nine games out of the wild card race with nine to play. They will...

Padres 6, Giants 4

Yonder Alonso's two-run single in the seventh inning snapped a tie and helped the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 on Sunday. Mark Kotsay hit a home run and Yasmani Grandal also drove in a run for the Padres, who had lost four of their previous five games. Everth Cabrera had four hits, walked and stole three bases in five plate appearances. Xavier Nady, who...

Daily Friar 9.26.12

I know Huston Street is coming back from injury and is shaking off the cobwebs, but he sure does have a way to make you nervous lately. It’s as if he started taking lessons from Trevor Hoffman and Heath Bell. It must be the Padre way to never get an easy win when it comes to the bottom of the ninth. Then again I guess it’s worth the price of admission to have a little suspense...

Street gets 200th save as Padres end Giants' 6-game winning streak

SAN FRANCISCO - Even though the game looked more like one played in March instead of late September, Padres closer Huston Street will have pleasant memories of Sunday's contest. Street earned the 200th save of his career, pitching for the first time since Aug. 10, as San Diego snapped the Giants' six-game winning streak, 6-4, less than 24 hours after San Francisco danced...

Daily Friar 9.25.12

I hate off days. Luckily football season is here and a Monday off day just means that Monday Night Football just diverts your attention. So since I don’t have much to talk about in the way of baseball I will talk a little bit about how awful the replacement referees are in the NFL. How amazingly bad was that call last night? So I guess it isn’t just baseball that has terrible...
Padres News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.