Let the talk about the San Diego Padres going after Manny Machado in the offseason begin!
The most sought-after player at this year’s trade deadline was former Baltimore Orioles third baseman/shortstop, Manny Machado. Excitement spread like wildfire through the San Diego Padres fanbase when reports surfaced that AJ Preller had reached out to the Orioles about acquiring Machado. It was just Preller doing his due diligence of seeing what Baltimore was looking for in return, however, once this season is over, Manny Machado is free game.
In a recent MLB Statcast podcast, featuring MLB.com Director of Content Matt Meyers and MLB.com/Statcast’s Mike Petriello, the duo discussed the possibility of the Padres signing Machado, believing that the Friars will be major players this offseason.
Outside of the $21 million the team will pay Eric Hosmer next season, the San Diego Padres have an extremely small payroll in 2019, leaving the door open for AJ Preller to make a big move this offseason, should he see fit.
The issue many fans had back at the trade deadline was Machado’s position (there were others but the blocking of Fernando Tatis Jr.struck a nerve with many). His move to third base, while with the Orioles, came because of the tremendous respect he had for veteran shortstop J.J Hardy. The move turned out pretty well as Machado became the top defensive third baseman in Major League Baseball, filling up the highlight reels with mind-blowing plays.
Machado has gone on record saying that he would move back to third base “for the right team.” Having watched Machado on a near-nightly basis since his rookie season, everything in his profile points to him being a true team player. If he wants to come to San Diego and the team believes his best fit is at third base, I could see the move happening. However, Fernando Tatis Jr.seems more than versatile enough to make the move to third base, should Machado want to remain at shortstop.
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You don’t need to look at the advanced metrics to see that Machado’s production on defense has taken a huge hit, since making the transition back to short. The metrics match the eyes though, with Fangraphs currently having him at -15 DRS and a -7.5 UZR in just over 1,100 innings at third base this season.
He never played at third with the Orioles but has logged 143 innings there with the Dodgers. He’s posted a 3 DRS and a 1.7 UZR. Quite the difference.
I wrote an article called “Ignore The Manny Machado Talk” back at the deadline because the move made no sense, at that time. Unless San Diego could guarantee a contract extension, adding Machado would have added nothing to this team’s playoff chances. Now, the talk makes sense. Would Machado ever consider San Diego? None of us are in his head so we have no clue, however, this team has many holes and deficiencies and lacks a dominant, veteran presence.
Don’t expect this talk to go away anytime soon. It’s only September 14th and those in the industry are already drumming up discussion about the Machado/San Diego connection. This year’s free agent class may not be as big and impressive as everyone once thought, however, the likes of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are sure to make things interesting.