During the Spring of 2019 the San Diego Padres shocked the baseball world with the signing of free agent Manny Machado to a 10 year, $300 million free agent contract.
After a decade of mostly hopeless floundering in the bottom of the NL West, the San Diego Padres made a play to make themselves relevant in MLB.
All of baseball was surprised by the move. Owners Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler had vowed for the past several years that their goal was to make the Padres relevant and bring championship baseball to San Diego.
Although the fan base remained unconvinced, the owners never wavered from their commitment to changing the tide of the organization. Everyone in professional baseball shared the fans’ pessimism regarding the Padres ability to change course.
Until General Manager AJ Preller embarked on the 2016 international signing bonanza.
After several years of drafting high and often, the Padres splurged with an $80 million signing spree that captured several highly ranked international teenage prospects and required a penalty from MLB of almost equal the amount spent.
Then the signing of Eric Hosmer before the 2018 season made the pundits doubt the sanity of Preller and the ownership. Although none of the Padres draft picks or international prospects were ready to play at the major league level, the Padres signed an expensive free agent.
So when the signing of Machado was announced, the baseball brain trust opined that the Padres were jumping the gun. No way would they be able to take advantage of either Hosmer’s or Machado’s best years.
Enter the 2020 season.
They have a superstar in the making with Tatis Jr as well as aces in the making with Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and minor league prospects Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patino.
With a few upgrades around the diamond, the 2020 season should show a significant improvement over last year.