Headley qualifies for arbitration as Super Two

Headley qualifies for arbitration as Super Two

SAN DIEGO -- Padres third baseman Chase Headley is in line for a substantial raise in 2011 after qualifying for salary arbitration after just two-plus years in the Majors as a result of earning Super Two status.

Headley is one of several players who have Major League service time that ranks in the highest 17 percent of players with less than the usual arbitration threshold of three years.

Headley has two years and 123 days of Major League service time, which means that he becomes eligible for free agency a year early -- by one day.

A year ago, the cutoff for Super Two status was 139 days.

Headley, who made $427,700 last season and likely would have earned about $450,000 in 2011 if he hadn't qualified as a Super Two, could potentially earn around $2 million, depending on if he opts to go through the arbitration process.

Headley hit .264 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs in 161 games for the Padres in what was his second full Major League season. He appeared in eight games in 2007 and 91 games the following season.

All players with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration.

Headley's spike in salary could certainly work against the Padres, who will go into 2011 with a payroll that figures to be slightly higher than the $37.8 million it was on Opening Day 2010.

Headley joins pitchers Tim Stauffer, Edward Mujica, Heath Bell and Mike Adams and outfielders Tony Gwynn, Chris Denorfia, Scott Hairston and Ryan Ludwick as Padres who are eligible for salary arbitration.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.