Headley’s MVP-Caliber Season Brings Optimism to Padres

San Diego Padres News

Headley’s performance in 2012 has catapulted him into the MVP discussion

There was nothing at stake in Milwaukee on Wednesday. Just two teams – the Brewers and the San Diego Padres – playing a meaningless 2012 finale. Though they finished with a 76-86 record after a 7-6 win, the Padres have reasons for optimism heading into the off-season. A key one is third baseman Chase Headley.

Headley – who was 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBI, two walks and a run – emerged as a building block for a Padres franchise that gained new owners during the season. Before the new ownership group arrived, speculation was rampant that Headley would be traded, even as early as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. That talk is irrelevant now because the 28-year-old right-handed slugger finished with a .286 average, a .498 slugging percentage and a .875 OPS to accompany 31 home runs and 115 RBI.

San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen are the leading National League Most Valuable Player contenders, but Headley’s performance in 2012 has catapulted him into the MVP discussion.

Headley, who is under team control through 2014, could be a fixture in the middle of San Diego’s lineup for years to come now that the ownership group plans to increase payroll.

Just as the Houston Astros’ future looks promising because of a plethora of exciting young players, the Padres’ fortunes are encouraging as well. Along with Headley, first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and center fielder Cameron Maybin in the majors, the Padres have minor league slugger Jedd Gyorko, who could be moved to second base next season to get his bat in the lineup.

 


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