Chase Headley said he doesn't want a contract extension to be a distraction during the Padres' season. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Winning last year's National League RBI title is going to pay dividends for Chase Headley.
Ron Fowler, the executive chairman of the Padres, told the San Diego Union-Tribune Wednesday that a "multi-year" extension will be offered to Headley "before midseason." Fowler said the deal would make Headley the highest-paid player in franchise history.
"Will it be 10 years? No," Fowler told the Union-Tribune. "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."
Headley was blindsided by word of the pending offer, saying he "didn't know how to respond". He previously said he would not discuss contract matters although it's been speculated he could demand $15 million a year. He is eligible to become a free agent after the 2014 season.
“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.
“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.”
Jake Peavy was making a franchise-record $11 million in 2009 as part of a four-year contract extension before he was traded to the White Sox.
Headley, who was sidelined before April 17 by a thumb injury, is batting .280/.373/.540 with three homers and six RBIs in 13 games this season.