Chase Headley said he “didn‘t know how to respond” Wednesday afternoon after learning that the Padres are planning to offer their star third baseman a multi-year contract that would make him the highest-paid player in franchise history. “To be honest, this is not something we’ve discussed,” Headley said at Wrigley Field. Earlier Wednesday, Ron Fowler, the executive chairman of the Padres, told U-T San Diego that a "multi-year" deal will be offered to the reigning RBI champion of the National League "before midseason" that would make Headley the highest-paid player in franchise history. "Will it be 10 years? No," said Fowler. "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." “I don’t want to get involved in saying exactly what it would take,” said Headley. “We don’t have anything set in stone. We’re not trying to set a record. I’m looking to something that is fair to myself and the Padres. “I do want a solid commitment. But I’m not looking for 10 years. I wouldn’t want anything that would put the Padres in a bad position.” Most likely, Headley, who is eligible to become a free agent after the 2014 season, is looking for a deal between five and eight years. “A three-year deal would put me in the same position I am now in about a year and I don’t want to do this again,” said Headley. Headley would not discuss financial numbers, although it is understood that, given the market, a $15 million annual salary could be a starting point. Jake Peavy holds the Padres salary record. The right-handed pitcher was making $11 million in 2009 as part of a four-year contract extension. The Padres traded him to the Chicago White Sox that July before the more expensive years kicked in. Right fielder Brian Giles made $9,666,666 in 2008. Closer Trevor Hoffman made $9.6 million in 2003. Carlos Quentin is the highest-paid Padre this season at $9.5 million. Headley is making $8.575 million as an arbitration-eligible player. "There are three or four elements involved," Fowler said of the pending Headley offer in a wide-ranging interview with the U-T. "One, indentured servitude went out a long time ago, so we can't force him to stay here. However, we feel he's an important part of the franchise. We've had a lot of dialogue with Josh Byrnes (the team general manager) already on it. Sometime in the course of the season -- probably sooner vs. later -- we'll put the offer on the table.
Padres formulating 'long-term' offer for Headley
San Diego Union-Tribune | May 2