All-Star shortstop and third baseman Manny Machado finally made his decision after months of keeping the nation waiting for him to decide what uniform he will wear next year. Machado inked a deal that’s good for 10 years and is worth $300 million with the ability to opt out of the deal after year five with the San Diego Padres.
Although Machado prefers shortstop, he will be playing third base for San Diego while Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the Padres’ top prospects in a farm system loaded with talent, will likely be the Padres starter at shortstop. Machado is coming off another brilliant season that ended with a World Series loss after five games against the Boston Red Sox. Machado, after spending the first seven and a half seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, was one of the hottest targets during the trade deadline last year as he was a member of a dreadful Orioles team. Baltimore made a difficult decision, giving up incredible talent in exchange for draft capital and players that may help build their team up for the future. The move, while criticized, made more sense than trying to catch up to the New York Yankees, who were mid win streak, and the Boston Red Sox, the eventual World Series Champions, at the time of the trade deadline. On the receiving end of the trade was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who Machado played 66 games for, batting .273 with 13 home runs while driving in 42 runs. Machado played a key role for the Dodgers in their playoff run, but the Dodgers eventually lost the World Series for the second straight year.
Machado will now join a market that’s been more or less depleted since the San Diego Chargers moved to Los Angeles. The Padres are also coming off a 96 loss season, but Machado feels that the future is bright for the San Diego Padres as they have the number one rated farm system in all of baseball. Machado hopes to be the cornerstone of a club in the middle of a rebuild. While the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007, a strong veteran leader like Machado could be all the Padres need to raise their young roster and farm system to championship status over the next few years.
That championship status, would be a first for San Diego, as the Padres have never won a World Series. As of now, it still seems that National League West will still be run by the Dodgers, who, outside of Machado, are keeping most of their main players that have brought them to two consecutive World Series Championships. In addition to them, the Colorado Rockies, who have made the wildcard game two years in a row will be stiff competition to get through in the west. For now the Padres are focused on the future, and in the next couple of years will see the rise of their young talent to the big leagues.
Now that Machado has finally broken the silence, we turn our full attention to former Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper, and Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel to see where those superstars will take their talents to next. We should have answers to those soon as spring training looms on the horizon.