FINALLY. One of the two big name stars finally signed. Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres settled on a 10 year/$300 million deal with an opt out after the 5th year. We know Machado had offers from the White Sox and Phillies, but in the end it was the Padres that came in with the big money.
Rumors the last few days were that Machado was looking for the “best deal” which just meant the most money, with the little wrinkle that he would consider a shorter deal. Because of this, it is a little surprising a big market team, let’s call them the Yankees, didn’t toss out something like a 3 year/$95 million deal or something like that. I know Yankees fans have a boner for Andujar, but Machado has been tied to the Yankees for years now and he left the door open for them to swoop in give him a short deal with big money so this has to make some question (granted the Yankees probably didn’t need another right-handed bat). But enough about the Yankees, what does this do for the Padres?
Well with the addition of Machado, their infield is pretty solid. Around the horn, they have Hosmer at first, young stud Luis Urias at second (with veteran and gold glover Ian Kinsler as security), likely top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr at short, and then Machado at third. Defensively, it’s hard to find a better infield. Round that out with an outfield of Will Myers, Manuel Margot, and Hunter Renfroe and that’s a really solid lineup. Not only that, but they’re young. Other than Kinsler, the oldest guy I mentioned is Hosmer who is entering his age 29 season.
But does this make the Padres a contender? Probably not until at least 2021. Yeah, their defense and offense are pretty good, but they literally do not have any pitchers. Here are the pitchers on their roster going into Spring Training:
Strahm, Yates, Stock, and Stammen were solid out of the bullpen last year. Clayton Richard is on the 60-day DL, and they traded perennial “this is the year he breaks out” candidate Tyson Ross. They did sign Aaron Loup yesterday, but he’s nothing more than a number four starter at best. Their best starter still on the roster from last year is Joey Lucchesi who went 8-9 last season with a 4.08 ERA, 1.29 WHIP over 130 innings. Not terrible, but not a number one starter.
So in the end, this signing makes the Padres a potentially young and exciting offense, but with the pitching, or lack thereof, they will likely continue to be stuck in middle ground purgatory for the next few years.