One of the last remaining free agents in the off-season in Major League Baseball finally has a home.
Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, thus presumably spiking the Padres chances of being a major threat in the NL West.
Machado, a 4-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner with Baltimore, hit .297 with 37 HR last year combined with the Orioles and Dodgers while registering an impressive .905 OPS in the process. Many felt like he may be more of an asset to a team than current prized free agent Bryce Harper (primarily for the position on the field). However, some wondered after his comments about not hustling every play would diminish his contract chances. Needless to say, that’s a firm no.
So what are some takes I have on this?
PADRES MADE A GREAT MOVE: I get it: you don’t want to shell out $30 mil per year for the next ten years if your team signed him. However, San Diego is close to just having a sick team with the farm system they have led by Fernando Tatis Jr. (a guy whom my friend says is a can’t miss-to which I won’t really dispute; he’s going to be something else). Also, it has been too long for Padres fans to really get pumped up about the MLB season. There was false hope in 2015 when the Padres signed James Shields and then traded for Justin Upton and Wil Myers. But that failed miserably. But with Machado, Myers, Hunter Renfroe, and Eric Hosmer, it’s now a formidable lineup and if they get Manuel Margot going, it will be very scary. So to me, with everything falling in place in San Diego, this is a sign that the Padres are now a threat in the NL West to the Dodgers.
BRYCE HARPER STILL NOT OUT OF DISCUSSION WITH THE PADRES: If you could only imagine the Padres throwing out that money to Machado, and then they could still get Bryce Harper? It’s possible. Not probable, but possible. I don’t know if a team can invest in TWO $30 million guys for ten years, but stranger things have happened before.
SAN DIEGO IS ONE TEAM WHO CAN AFFORD MACHADO/HARPER WITHOUT MUCH CONSEQUENCE: I think a reason why the Padres signed Machado was because of their standing financially and from a roster standpoint. The big spenders of the Cubs, Red Sox, and Yankees were not even remotely rumored to pick up Machado in part because of their payrolls. The Dodgers did a payroll shift when they traded Kemp, Puig, and Alex Wood to Cincinnati, thus making people believe Harper is going there (and still very well could). And the teams like the Cubs and Yankees will be looking at mega extensions to their young stars such as Kris Bryant, Aaron Judge and so forth. San Diego has a great load of talent in the farm system, but while we could see the Padres start displaying their young guns, they are safe from having to lock down any of their stars in the foreseeable future. That is also why I think the Chicago White Sox have been active trying to get Harper or Machado.
IT WILL BE A FUN YEAR IN SAN DIEGO: Again, the Padres have desperately tried to put out a winner in the last few years but have come up short in a big way. Ever since the team moved to PETCO Park the offense has been a very weak point and people have not taken the Padres seriously. Machado is a great hitter who doesn’t necessarily needs to rake it out all the time. He can hit them in the gaps and elsewhere. Put him with a crew of Hosmer and Myers, and you have a pretty good crew there. It may be another year before we really see how legit San Diego is, but they will be pretty exciting nonetheless.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat