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.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.