Back last winter, and in the weeks leading up to the season, there was plenty of talk about the San Diego Padres trading star third baseman Chase Headley. Those whispers reemerged at the trade deadline, but heading into the last several weeks of the regular season, he remains a member of the club.
Will that be the case through the winter, though? After all, a small market team with a high priced commodity, and in need of a few pieces in order to progress as a franchise typically meets a similar conclusion in these types of situations. With the season Headley has had, though, it might not be the case, at least at this point.
Headley had come off of a career year in 2012, especially as far as his power numbers were concerned. His batting average was up over .285 for the second consecutive year, a wRC+ that was 24 points higher than his previous career mark, up at 145, and a .378 wOBA. The real surprise was the power.
Going into the 2012 season, Headley’s career high for home runs in a single season was 12. He very nearly eclipsed his career total last year, with 31 home runs. At this point, that season may have been more of an aberration than anything, as he’s taken a major step back in that aspect of his game.
Along with declining power, Headley has struggled with his batting average (down to .238 this season. His season started off late, because of a thumb injury, but he’s also struggled to maintain consistency.
When you add it all up, it’s very likely that we could see Headley back with the Padres in 2014, at least up until the trade deadline. Even with the power numbers declining, his other figures have taken a hit, with a lower walk rate and a higher strikeout rate. He’s up for arbitration this year, before becoming a free agent in 2015. It’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out, but with his value as low as it is at this point, him coming back to San Diego next year looks likely.