SAN DIEGO (AP) - Padres third baseman Chase Headley says talk of a contract extension has become a distraction.
The slugger says he spoke with team executive chairman Ron Fowler on Friday and explained his position that he didn't want to negotiate during the season.
Says Headley: ``I'm trying to pour water on the fire as much as I can.''
Fowler, head of the ownership group that took over the Padres in August, said on Wednesday that he's given general manager Josh Byrnes permission to begin negotiations with Headley on a long-term contract that would make him the highest-paid player in club history.
Headley had one of the best seasons in team history in 2012, hitting 31 homers and driving in an NL-high 115 runs while winning Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. He's making $8,575,000 this year.
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