The Padres have signed perennial MLB All-Star Manny Machado to a record 10-year, $300 million contract. Given the history of this organization and its past financial decisions, this ushers in a new era of Padres baseball, no matter the outcome.
The bomb was dropped and the boom was felt all throughout baseball.
The San Diego Padres are the center of the baseball world, as they have signed four-time MLB All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner Manny Machado to the largest free agent contract in American sports history.
Yes, you read that right, American sports history.
Not the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys or Dodgers, the Padres did it. After all the talk this offseason and all the scrutiny with the payroll being thrust out into the public light and articles about the Padres trying to reduce debt, the team has handed Machado the contract he wanted from the very beginning.
No matter how this turns out after five or ten years (the opt-out is reportedly after five years), no longer can anyone criticize Padres ownership for penny-pinching and not trying to win. Signing Machado spits directly in the face of that argument.
The Padres are not paying for a chump either, Machado has averaged 5.8 WAR since 2015. The Padres have not had a single five-win player since Chase Headley’s ridiculous 2012 (6.4 WAR). The highest WAR on the Padres last season was Hunter Renfroe at 2.4, less than half of Machado’s yearly average.
No matter how this contract turns out, we can NEVER again call the San Diego @Padres cheap.
We can't. I have, and I take it all back. Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler have put their money with their mouth is. They are TRYING.
— Ian (@AppreciatedSD) February 19, 2019
This truly is a new era of Padres baseball. With the best farm system in all of baseball, “hot talent lava” oozing at every position, a prime facility in Petco Park in a gorgeous city that needs no makeup, a few established veterans already in place with Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, the Padres are in uncharted waters.
I don’t blame the fanbase for not knowing how to process this. The Padres don’t get nice things, at least not since Tony Gwynn. San Diego sports fans have been burned over and over, and not just by the Padres. It’s almost numbing. San Diego is plastered all over the likes of MLB Network and ESPN, with the headline that Padres fans have dreamed of but perhaps never fully believed without seeing, “Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres.” Celebrate how you see fit, responsibly of course.
The era of the Padres being cheap is over, oh and you can say goodbye to “tanking” as well. Of course, as passionate fans, they will find something else to complain about but the book is closed on this subject. The Padres are going for it. Remember Ken Caminiti? He had 17.5 total WAR in four years in San Diego. Machado has a 23.2 WAR in the last four seasons.
It’s finally good to be a Padres fan again, and not just because of the stacked farm system. The major league team now is not only watchable but exciting.