So much for that: Chase Headley won’t negotiate with the Padres during the season

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OK, now this is just awkward.

Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said yesterday that he’s given general manager Josh Byrnes the go-ahead to re-start long-term contract negotiations with Chase Headley and is willing to make the third baseman “the highest-paid player in club history.”

It was a whole big story in San Diego today, with lots of quotes from Fowler and lots of speculation about the size of the contract. One problem? Headley has no interest in talking contract during the season.

Here’s what he told Corey Brock of MLB.com today:

We made it abundantly clear [before] that we didn’t want to talk about it during the season I didn’t think that for me and for the team that it was good to get caught up with all of this during the season. … It’s flattering they feel the way they feel about me. I love playing in San Diego, I love the fans. But I just don’t think now is the time to get involved with this. That’s it. If there’s an opportunity to engage after the season, so be it. I didn’t want to have to deal with the fallout I’m dealing with.

Headley is under team control via arbitration next season as well, but at that point he’ll be making over $10 million and will be just 162 games from hitting the open market as a free agent.

It’s like that old saying about relationships goes: “You can’t want it bad enough for both of us.” (I have no idea if that’s actually an old saying, but I vaguely remember hearing something along those lines once and it sort of applies here pretty well.)

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.