PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley leaves spring training with a healthy calf and no new contract.
And he’s OK with that.
Headley said Wednesday he’s ”definitely 100 percent” after being slowed by a strained right calf for much of the spring.
Headley also indicated that, as expected, there have been no breakthroughs in contract talks with the team and he’s preparing to become a free agent at the end of the season.
”I think we’re kind of past that at this point in time,” Headley said, regarding the chance of a new deal.
Headley hit 31 home runs and led the National League with 115 RBIs in 2012. His numbers dipped to .250 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs a year ago after he rebuffed the Padres’ willingness to negotiate a deal during the season.
Headley settled on a one-year, $10.5 million contract in January to avoid arbitration. And he said he’ll have no issues being in a contract year for the second straight season.
”No, I’ve had a lot of practice at that,” Headley said. ”So, no, I’m good. I probably feel better now than I have in a few years because there was some lingering stuff before. It’s good to have a peace of mind knowing exactly where it is.
”Not that those things can’t change, but I’m pretty comfortable with where we are right now.”
The holdup is how to compensate the 29-year-old Headley. Should he be paid based on his 2012 or 2013 numbers?
This season may serve as the tiebreaker, and Headley enters the season healthy. He got extra at-bats in a minor-league game Wednesday and declared himself fit.
”It was a matter of getting the at-bats where he felt comfortable physically and mentally,” manager Bud Black said. ”And also the stamina aspect, to get his legs underneath him, to play nine innings and start a season feeling good about his endurance. He’s caught up pretty quick.”