The seemingly year-long drama of where one of the marquee free agents of this MLB’s offseason has ended.
Manny Machado has signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Clearly, my prediction of him going to Chicago was way off. I was mostly taking a somewhat-educated guess. This deal is the largest free agent deal in history (for now) and caps off what has been an interesting offseason for the 26-year-old infielder.
He was rumored to have gotten a lesser offer from the Chicago White Sox, was tied in with the Yankees, the Phillies, among others, but now he has signed a big-time offer with a west coast team. He will go to San Diego and instantly become their best player but that isn’t necessarily saying much.
The Padres struggled last year, as they play in one of the tougher divisions in baseball, the NL West. They will have to contend with Machado’s former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and another playoff team in the Colorado Rockies, who managed to win the NL Wild Card Game against the Chicago Cubs this past year.
So clearly, unless Machado knows something about the Bryce Harper situation that we as a public don’t, this deal was about money – as it should be. Free agents should be seeking to take the best offer on the market and make the most money. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Otherwise, the MLB would turn into the NBA and have a predetermined champion every year because of the lack of competitive balance. But that issue is for another time.
Machado has finally signed his deal, which will probably snowball and cause other big names such as Bryce Harper, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel to begin signing as well. But the biggest name of that group, Harper, is the name to focus on. He is a game-changer.
If the Padres manage to sign him, they would instantly become contenders in the NL West. They would arguably have the best hitting combination in MLB, and they would be a couple frontline starters and a decent bullpen away from becoming World Series contenders.
The ownership has preached an aggressive approach, citing the lack of winning that has taken place in San Diego in recent memory. The recent loss of their football team has been especially tough as the Chargers moved to LA this past year. The ownership seems eager to get a jump on things, and signing Harper would be a huge success not only on the field but also in attendance numbers.
So, I’m not saying it’s going to happen because the Padres would have to break the bank for this transaction. But hey, I also didn’t see Machado signing in San Diego either.