The San Diego Padres signed Manny Machado this morning for a rumored 10 years and $300 million, including a potential opt-out after 5 years.
Manny Machado, the former Baltimore Orioles and Dodgers All-Star, immediately changes the complexion of this team, and raises expectations of fans and ownership.
The Padres signed Manny Machado, now what?
After signing Machado, the Padres have dished out two of the largest free agent contracts of the past two seasons, after signing Eric Hosmer last year for 8 years $144 million, and then Machado this year.
Last season, Manny Machado posted a 5.7 WAR, hit .297, and had a .367 OBP. All three of these statistics were well above what any Padres player had. His plate discipline will be a welcome sight at Petco Park this season, as the Padres finished last in on-base percentage last season with a team average .297 OBP.
Machado’s defense is all top-notch. At just 26 years old he has four All-Star appearances and has won two gold gloves in 2013 and 2015.
With the acquisition of the perennial All-Star, a potential infield for the Padres includes Hosmer at 1B, Urias at 2B, and then either Tatis Jr. or Machado at SS and the other at 3B. Hosmer is a former All-Star and gold glove winner, Tatis Jr. is arguably the number one prospect in all of Major League Baseball, and Urias is the Padres third best prospect, and a top 30 prospect in all of baseball. Add Machado to that group and the Padres have one of the best infields in the National League, if Tatis Jr. and Urias live up to the hype.
Acquiring Machado will also help Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers in the middle of the Padres lineup. Once Tatis Jr. arrives at some point this year, a Padres lineup could look something like this.
- Luis Urias 2B
- Fernando Tatis Jr. SS/3B
- Eric Hosmer 1B
- Manny Machado SS/3B
- Wil Myers LF
- Hunter Renfroe/Franmil Reyes RF
- Manuel Margot CF
- Austin Hedges/Fransisco Mejia C
- Starting Pitcher
There are still holes in this lineup, but the overall quality, especially in the heart of the lineup is spectacular. Hosmer and Myers, assuming Myers isn’t traded, should benefit the most from the addition of Machado because they will most likely be given better pitches to hit because pitchers will not want to deal with Machado.
Machado, with his price tag, will immediately become the face of the franchise. How he plays will impact the trajectory of the Padres franchise, and could be a defining moment in the teams history.
Expectations For 2019 with Manny Machado
The expectations for this team have increased drastically with this signing. The Padres still probably will not make the playoffs this season, but they will at least be expected to improve significantly on last seasons total of 66 wins.
Pitching remains a real concern for the Padres, who gave up an average of 4.73 runs per game, which was third worst in the National League. Currently, the only major addition to the pitching staff is Garrett Richards, who had Tommy-John surgery and won’t even pitch in 2019.
However, the Padres do have the number one farm system in all of baseball. Chris Paddack and Logan Allen are two prospects who could make the Starting rotation straight out of Spring Training. In addition, Joey Luchessi and Eric Laurer showed flashes of potential in their rookie seasons in 2018, but are far from finished products themselves.
This is where GM A.J. Preller comes in. He realizes more than anyone that the Padres will need good starting pitching if they plan on contending in the near future. He can either chose to trade from his major league talent, most likely an outfielder such as Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, or Franmil Reyes as part of a package deal. Preller can also deal from a plethora of Minor League pitching options, such as Cal Quantrill, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, or Anderson Espinoza.
Signing Manny Machado will not thrust the Padres into World Series contention. But with his addition Padres fans can get excited about the teams present and future as their wait for a World Series continues.