Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
Padres ownership offers contract extension to Chase Headley through the media
Before actually talking with Chase Headley about it, Padres CEO Ron Fowler went to media indicating that the team was looking to sign Headley long term
Fresh off of a 4-2 victory on Thursday in Chicago to give the Padres a split with the Cubs in the four-game series, the team came home and on Friday Chase Headley felt compelled and perhaps obligated to talk to media in the club house. Not about baseball, not about Chase’s performance since returning from a broken thumb, and not about how the team is doing.
Chase addressed media on Friday concerning Padres CEO Ron Fowler’s statements to the U-T about attempting to sign Headley to a long-term contract. According to the U-T, Fowler said that a multi-year deal would be offered before mid-season.
The press in various formats has kicked around an amount of around $15 million per season. While Fowler didn’t offer any verification on the amount, he didn’t deny it, either.
"Will it be 10 years? No. We're not going to do something like that. But we will do an offer that will be the largest offer we've ever made to a player in San Diego history and think it will be very close to some of the numbers I read in the press," Fowler said, according to the San Diego U-T.
The problem is that Headley doesn’t want to talk contract in the middle of the season. Chase indicated that he was open to such talk after the season last year, but Padres ownership and management didn’t appear to have interest, so they signed Chase to a $8.575 million dollar deal for one season in order to avoid arbitration.
Later, Fowler indicated that such a deal could get done within 48 hours. According to Tom Krasovic of the U-T, Fowler said, “I think it’s up to Chase and his agent. We can get this done in 48 hours, or if he wants to say, 'I don’t want to talk about it anymore,' I respect that.”
The problem is that Chase had already indicated that he didn’t wish to talk about it until the off-season. Up to that point, Chase had no conversation with Fowler or Padres management on the situation.
Chase has spoken with Fowler since this unfolded. “We had a good conversation. It was a misunderstanding. He wanted me to know that he wasn’t negotiating through the media.” Headley said.
“Maybe it would take forty-eight hours, but I’ve been around this game long enough to know that a lot of times it doesn’t take forty-eight hours, it’s very complicated to get these things done,” Chase said. “[Me and my agent] made it very clear where we stood on it, if a deal is done it will be done in the off-season.”
The surprising thing is how Ron Fowler did indeed try this out with the media before even consulting Chase Headley. It would be great to be able to give Padres ownership the benefit of the doubt on this, but I can’t recall media knowing about the contract extensions of Carlos Quentin and Huston Street last year.
If the Padres trade Chase Headley before the trade deadline, then it would be convenient for ownership to fall back on this moment and claim that they did, in fact, attempt to sign Chase to a deal. The problem is, it lacks credibility when they had a chance to sign him in the off-season when he requested such negotiations.
The Padres are back in town and host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in a three-game series. Friday, Jason Marquis (2-2, 4.20) will go for the Padres against the Diamondbacks Wade Miley (2-0, 2.37). Game time is at 7:05 PM PDST, 1090 AM for radio and Fox Sports San Diego for television.
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