One of the two biggest free agents in baseball has just come off the market. It’s reported that the San Diego Padres have signed Manny Machado to a 10 year, $300 million dollar deal. The deal includes an opt-out clause at the fifth year of the contract as well as a limited no-trade clause. This is considered the biggest contract in professional sports, surpassing Alex Rodriguez’s 10 year, $275 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees.
The San Diego Padres have spent more money in free agency in the last two seasons then any other team in the MLB, 474 million dollars. It’s a big risk the Padres are willing to take. Hosmer didn’t live up to expectations last season and historically, trying to build teams through big splashes in free agency typically does not work in baseball. Names like Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and James Shields will haunt Padres fans because of their lack of production, yet enormous contracts. These were all players that have been signed within the last five years, yet San Diego has not had a winning season since 2010. However, things are looking up for the Padres and the Manny Machado signing could be just the beginning. The Padres are considered to have one of the best farm systems in baseball, with many young prospects ready to contribute to a Padres team that’s missed the postseason for 12 consecutive seasons. With Machado joining the Padres, he could possibly lure other young, talented prospects to play alongside him.
For Machado, he is coming off the best season of his career. He posted a career-high .905 OPS, with a .297/.367/.538 slash line, 37 home runs, 107 RBI’s and 14 stolen bases. He has played 154 games in each of the past four seasons and has hit at least 30 home runs and 30 doubles in each of those four seasons. For his career he has averaged 36 home runs, 159 games, and 5.8 WAR. Machado has officially become the face of the San Diego Padres.
Although it is reported that the Padres won’t be very good this year, they will depend on future free agent splashes and their farm system to lead them to what could be a possible dynasty in San Diego. Finally, sports fans in the city of San Diego have something to look forward to. They have what is arguably the best player in baseball playing in one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball. The Padres have a two-time Gold Glover who is naturally suited to play third base because of his unbelievable reflexes as well as his rocket of an arm. If the Padres, as well as Machado, are patient and meticulous in constructing their roster, they could be in World Series conversations for years to come.