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Padres Avoid Arbitration Frenzy, Sign 5 Players 

Smith Transactions

The Padres announced today that the team has come to terms with 5 of its players that were on the block for arbitration. Pitchers Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy, infielders Everth Cabrera and Chase Headley along with outfielder Kyle Blanks all agreed to contracts with the team for the 2014 season.

Headley walked away with a substantial raise in his contract, signing a one-year $10.5 million deal with the team. Headley had earned $8.575 million last season and $2.325 million back in 2012. Headley, a gold glove winner and silver slugger recipient with 31 homeruns and 115 RBI during the 2012 season, experienced a downturn in his number last year posting only 13 homeruns and 50 RBI.

Headley also experienced a slump in his batting prowess, posting a .250/.347/.400 line last season. In 2012, Headley posted a healthy .286/.376/.498 string. All seven years of Headley’s career have been with the Padres, having debuted back in 2007 at the age of 23. Over parts of 7 season with the team, Headley has posted a .269 batting average with 369 RBI and 80 homeruns.

With the monumental contract that Headley received, one might expect every player to have received large contracts. This wasn’t necessarily the case as outfielder Kyle Blanks landed on the opposite end of the spectrum, who signed a $987,500 contract for the 2014 season and also avoided arbitration.

Blanks had a roller coaster year last season, posting good numbers early on and then slumping back down to earth after another stint on the disabled list. Blanks received $600,000 last season and appeared in only 88 games, posting a .243 batting average with 8 homeruns and 35 RBI.

Pitcher Tyson Ross was penned to a $1.98 million contract for next season; Ross pitched well in his first season with the Padres in 2013, posting a 3.17 ERA with a 3-8 record over 35 games. The 26 year old Ross also suffered a season that was interrupted by a stint on the disabled list, but showed promise near the end of the season.

Infielder Everth Cabrera also avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $2.45 million contract for next season. Cabrera, the Padres lone all-star for 2013, was on pace to break his career high mark in stolen bases and posted a .283 batting average with 31 RBI and 4 homeruns before being suspended for 50 games following the infamous Biogensis PED scandal. Cabrera, who will be 27 in 2014, shows signs of improving his game and becoming a more effective player.

Pitcher Ian Kennedy posted the second highest contract deal out of the arbitration eligible players, signing a $6.1 million contact for 2014 and again avoiding arbitration. Kennedy was acquired through a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks late last season, and posted a 4-2 record with a 4.24 ERA over 10 games. Kennedy hopes to bounce back and return to form in the friendly confines of Petco Park. Kennedy posts a 4.00 career ERA with a 53-40 record over seven season with the Padres, Yankees, and Diamondbacks.

The lone player who remains without a contract and is on the edge of heading into arbitration is pitcher Andrew Cashner. Cashner, who as you may remember was only 1 batter shy of throwing a perfect game against the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, posted good numbers in 2013 with a 10-9 record and 3.09 ERA with a career high 128 strikeouts. Cashner received $500,800 last year and should be looking to receive a substantial raise for 2014.

This offseason, the Padres have come to terms with 17 players and contracts, pushing the team’s payroll to just under $80 million. Last season, the team opened with a payroll of just under $68 million – a $12 million increase. While the implications of such a payroll increase have yet to materialize, the Padres are hoping that the deals they have made thus far will guarantee the team success in 2014.

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About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!