The baseball world had been awaiting the destination of a couple of major free agents this offseason. Finally, one of those storylines came to a close. It was reported on Tuesday, February 19, that Manny Machado had signed a deal with the San Diego Padres. The deal was worth $300 million over 10 years, making it the largest free agent contract in the history of American Sports.
This deal will definitely change the complexion of the league. One way is within their division. The National League West has been dominated by the Dodgers since the Giants won it en route to the World Series in 2012. The Padres haven’t won this division since 2006 (for the second year in a row), and they were bounced by St. Louis in the first round (also for the second year in a row). Since then, they have been overshadowed. When they signed Machado, they were making an obvious statement that they are ready to make a run at the division title.
Tatis Jr. May Join Machado
This move comes at a somewhat surprising time, as Machado will be one of two cornerstone pieces of the franchise. The other one will likely be Fernando Tatis Jr., who is still in the minors. This move could also indicate that the Padres expect Tatis to join their quest to win their division in the near future.
Machado is a career .280 hitter who is known as a power threat. He has 175 home runs and has driven in 513 runs in his career. He also has fielding skills and routinely throws runners out at first from beyond third base.
In recent years, the National League has been dominated by teams such as the Cardinals, Giants, Cubs, and Dodgers. However, this move by the Padres could change the complexion of the entire league, especially if Tatis turns out to be as good as most think he will be. This coming season alone, having Machado should make the Padres a good bet against any team.