Manny Machado signs a 10-year deal with the Padres
Well, here’s a thing! We’ve been waiting all winter to see where the two young position player free agents land and for how much. Well, the wait is over with one of them. On Tuesday, news finally broke and Manny Machado finally found a new team. It is not one of the traditional free agent landing spots, but it’s one that could prove to be very fun in the next few years. Machado signed a ten-year deal worth $300 million with the Padres. San Diego has been largely irrelevant in the baseball world since the Tony Gwynn years, making the postseason just twice since the turn of the century. That should be changing soon, though, and they are pushing in some of their chips to make sure that happens. After making a big-ish splash last winter by signing Eric Hosmer, they’ve taken it a step forward this year by handing out the largest contract ever issued to a free agent in American sports. Machado is worth it, though, even if he’s not the most likable guy. We’re talking about an elite defensive third baseman with a great bat at just 26 years old. He’s a monster.
With Machado in tow, the Padres are looking to contend by 2020 at the latest. Remember, this is the team with the best farm system in the game that includes Fernando Tatis Jr., who is either the best or second-best prospect in baseball depending on who you ask. Once Tatis is up, and that should be relatively soon, San Diego will have an infield of Machado, Tatis, Hosmer and Luis Urias, a top prospect in his own right. They do need some help in the rotation, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a run at Dallas Keuchel or maybe even try again to put together a big package for Corey Kluber. The Dodgers are still the favorites in that division, but with the Padres suddenly willing to spend and with their farm system, Los Angeles has to feel the other Southern California team breathing down their neck.
As for the Red Sox, well, it’s nice to have Machado literally as far away from Boston as possible.