Chase Headley is the new kind of baseball free agent.
Technically, he won't be on the market until after the 2014 season. But he's effectively available now.
Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler told U-T San Diego this week that the team would offer Headley a franchise-record contract "before midseason." Great news, except one small detail: Headley told MLB.com that he doesn't want to negotiate during the regular season, and his agent, Jim Murray, later confirmed as much to FOXSports.com.
In other words, Headley will be only one year from free agency when he's willing to re-engage the Padres in talks on a long-term contract. Players who are only year from free agency tend to be very curious about it -- particularly when their current franchise has one winning season since 2007 and is in last place now.
At the very least, the absence of negotiations will make the 28-year-old Headley one of the most coveted players in baseball leading up to the July 31 no...