Another big arbitration case has been settled.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Padres and third baseman Chase Headley avoided a salary arbitration hearing on Wednesday evening by agreeing to a one-year, $8.575 million contract.
Headley requested $10.3 million and was offered $7.075 million by the San Diego front office when figures were exchanged earlier this month. It didn’t take long for the sides to find a middle ground.
Headley, 28, batted .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI in 161 games last season for the Friars. He will be eligible for salary arbitration again in 2014 before hitting free agency heading into 2015.
The Padres will likely attempt to work out a long-term extension with Headley at some point this year.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.