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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chase Headley could play on one-year contract in 2014 as talks with Padres stall

By on 1/05/2014 09:00:00 AM

The San Diego Padres and Chase Headley have been discussing a long-term deal for some time. It doesn't seem to have helped. On Saturday morning, Headley told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that talks regarding his future 'haven't gone very far', indicating that the two parties are no closer to agreeing on a multi-year deal than they were at the start of the offseason. The third baseman did suggest some optimism that an arrangement might still be reached.

“I don’t want to draw a line in the sand,” Headley said via phone from his home in Tennessee. “We have time. I’m not saying something will get done, but I’m saying it can happen. Anything can happen...I’m not closed off to anything.”
Headley's words come after Padres GM Josh Byrnes said the team would be willing to go into 2014 with the 29-year-old signed to a one-year contract. As he is arbitration-eligible this offseason, San Diego can just retain Headley for the 2014 season prior to his impending free agency next winter rather than signing him to a longer deal. The third baseman made $8.575 million in 2013.

Mixed messages have been coming out of San Diego for a while, no doubt due to the slow progress in these contract talks. In late October, it was rumored that the team might retain Headley rather than trade him, which contrasted with the sentiment that he was very likely to be traded this offseason, also at odds with the story that the Padres were planning to wait until the All-Star break to make a trade. After a year of poor production, Headley also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery when the season finished; both factors could limit his trade value but potentially enable San Diego to gain an advantage in contract talks. 


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