San Diego Padres In 2014: Maybe Without Headley And Volquez?
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Monday July 29th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
After the San Diego Padres looked promising in the early months of 2013, the team has finally come back down to Earth.
The team looked like it might contend for an NL West title – or a Wild Card about 45 games into the season, but from then on, the season went downhill.
This year, Chase Headley has not been anywhere close to what he was in 2012.
Last season, the Padres third baseman was a legitimate MVP candidate, driving in 115 runs (Led NL – and had 73 after the ALL – Star Game) and hitting 31 HR.
This season, he started off on the DL and came back to hit only 8 HRs with 33 RBI while only hitting .238. This performance is a far cry from 2012.
By no means were the San Diego Padres a good team in 2012. But, without Chase Headley, they would have been on the same level as the Houston Astros or the Miami Marlins.
Even with Headley the team was very close to that level. This year, we are getting a good taste of what the team looks like without a star.
If Headley is gone, we are going to see exactly what we are seeing in the present—a struggling team with a mediocre-at-best third baseman.
Moore has been decent this season, hitting .278 with 12 HR and 58 RBI in 309 AB. Merchan has had far less time, hitting .271 with no HR and 15 RBI in 140 AB.
Moore has decent numbers, but subtract a few HR and RBI due to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. There is no way either of these guys would be a suitable replacement for Chase Headley.
And, without Headley or someone similar, I see no chance for the Padres to contend in the NL West.
The only way to have a trade work is to acquire a 2014 ready Third Baseman in return. If a team could do that, maybe he could be dangled in the next 48 – 60 hours.
There is a massive distinction between the two players as Chase Headley is eligible for 1 more year of Arbitration, before hitting the Free Agent Market – while Volquez is in the last year of his deal.
Headley makes $8.58 MIL this year – and could reach $10 MIL+ for 2014’s Salary.
If Headley remains with the Padres until after the 2014 year, the club will likely offer the Third Baseman a $15 MIL/1 YR Qualifying Offer for 2015.
Even if they can’t sign him long-term, at least they would receive an extra pick if another teams signs the 2012 Silver Slugger.
The ownership has mentioned they are willing to increase payroll in the future, so it is a possibility. Perhaps the best thing that could happen is for #7 to finish the year strong – to at least give the club a stronger asset to deal.
As far as Edinson Volquez goes, the Padres will be just fine without him.
I do not see any reason for the Padres to resign Volquez. After this season, he will have only pitched two seasons for the Padres. In 2012, he had a 4.14 ERA in 182.2 innings.
This season, Volquez is even worse, carrying a 5.70 ERA in 120 innings. His best season came in 2008 in Cincinnati when he went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 196 innings.
He has not been even close to that, having an ERA over four ever since. If the Padres are smart, they will make some room on the payroll and let Volquez walk.
I could see the Padres signing a mediocre starter for 2014 to join the rotation. If they could get another guy like Jason Marquis, they might have a better shot at contention than they do with Volquez in the rotation.
They might want to go after Dan Haren, who has had a very rough year for the Nationals. I’m sure the Padres could get Haren for a decent deal and sign him for a short-term contract in hopes that he would regain his previous form.
The bottom line: the 2013 Padres are not good. If they want to contend anytime soon, they are going to have to make some serious changes and land some great prospects.
If the team wants to build around Chase Headley, they need to extend him very soon. Moves need to be made.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky.
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Posted on July 29, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bernieolshansky, baseball, bernie olshansky, chase headley, edinson volquez, hitting, jesus-merchan, minor-league, mlb, nl west, pitching, san diego padres, Scott Moore, trade deadline. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.