Padres, Chase Headley avoid arbitration with one-year, $10.25 million deal

Bob Levey

San Diego has avoided Headley's last year of arbitration eligibility, but they could still decide to trade him before he becomes a free agent in 2015.

Chase Headley and the San Diego Padres have come to an agreement on a one-year, $10.25 million deal to the arbitration process, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.

Headley is coming off a somewhat disappointing encore of his breakout 2012 campaign.

After hitting .286/.376/.498 with 31 homers for the Padres that season, Headley slugged just 13 home runs last season. He still posted a .250/.347/.400 batting line in 2013, and was excellent defensively at third, but the dip in homers and runs batted in likely cost him some money this offseason.

The arbitration process generally rewards traditional counting stats -- like home runs and stolen bases -- so, Headley wasn't going to get the same kind of raise he did last offseason if he had taken his case to the panel.

At $10.25 million, Headley will be the Padres highest-paid player, topping the $9.5 million Carlos Quentin is set to earn next season. That could be motivation enough for the small-market Padres to pursue a trade for the 29-year-old third baseman. However, Headley will become a free agent after the season, so general manager Josh Byrnes might be more concerned with maximizing his club's return than Headley 2014 salary.

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