Now that Chase Headley has signed a new one-year $8.575 million extension, it has become apparently clear that the team does not plan on extending him any further and will eventually trade the third baseman at some point this season.
Let's face it, Chase Headley has already become too expensive and highly coveted for the Padres to extend to a long-term deal.
We talked about a long-term contract briefly at the start of these negotiations, Headley told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It was a quick discussion. We weren't on the same page right from the start. This close to free agency, it has to be a good deal for us. You can’t sacrifice what’s fair.
And according to MLBTradeRumors.com's Tim Dierkes, Headley will more than likely be demanding a contract in the four-year range worth somewhere between $41-$50-million. Reasonable for many teams—far too expensive for the Padres.
Can you see the writing on the wall now?
Headley just came off of the best year of his career, winning both Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards while batting .286 with 31 home runs, 95 runs scored, 17 stolen bases and a league leading 115 RBI.
He's also steadily improved as a player—both offensively and defensively—since his debut with the Padres in 2007.
And though I've been one of the biggest proponents of extending and building around him for the future, the time has come for fans to accept the inevitable—Chase Headley will be traded.
Maybe this will now give Jedd Gyorko the opportunity to play and take his natural position at third base.
It will more than likely allow Logan Forsythe or Alexi Amarista to take over at second base while up-and-coming Cory Spangenberg prepares for an eventual promotion. Who knows, maybe newly-signed Adam Buschini (via MLB.com) will get a shot as well?
Hopefully, the Padres will use this opportunity to acquire major league-ready starters or package Headley with relief pitching and/or excess minor leaguers for a right field prospect.
In any case, I just don't see him with the team past the trade deadline and I'm sure general manager Josh Byrnes is aggressively making it known that Headley will be on the block come Opening Day.
One way or another, the clock is ticking and fans will read—once again—that another Padre standout has been traded away for prospects.
What do you think? Annoying, isn't it?