Did Manny choose correctly?
Manny Machado has officially agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres after a long offseason of negotiations.
What it means for the Padres:
You overpaid a really good player to come breathe some life into your halfway dead franchise, but what do you have besides that? A rotation that finished 21st in the MLB last year that has received no upgrade or change this offseason, and a roster full of overpaid players on the decline (Eric Hosmer) and a group of less-than-exciting prospects who haven’t panned out yet (Wil Myers). The Padres may have upgraded at one position, but that doesn’t put them anywhere near contender status. San Diego is still the definition of a rag-tag team – they don’t have anything about them that pushes them into the forefront of contention, especially in a division with Los Angeles and Colorado (who are only getting better). The fool’s gold that is Hosmer finessed the team out of $144 million last offseason after one good season and a lot more hype than production in Kansas City, and the addition of Machado essentially screws San Diego over on the payroll for the next couple years. Good front offices are smart with their money – there’s a reason none of the contending franchises wanted to take on Machado’s 300 million dollar demands. San Diego is now officially up there with Miami for worst money management and best squandering of potential in the MLB.
What it means for Machado:
Congratulations! You finally got your $300 million deal after an offseason of negotiating with the likes of the Yankees, Phillies, and even the up-and-coming White Sox among other teams. So, who did you sign with? The National League’s version of Baltimore. There’s no chance in hell you’re winning over 80 games next year, and no year in the foreseeable future where your team will be in the playoffs. Also, one of the (if not, the) best shortstop prospects in the MLB is on your heels, so you’ll probably have to move back to third base, which you’ve voiced your hatred for in the past. $300 million is record breaking money, but isn’t it worth it taking $20 million less to go to Chicago even and be a contender in the next three years? Guess not. In San Diego, you’ll end up being one of the best five players in franchise history, you’ll make your money, and you’ll be the leader of the team – but, you’ll deal with one of the worst front office/roster combos in the MLB. You’ll probably demand to be traded in a couple years when it isn’t working out in Petco Park (one of the dumbest ballpark names in baseball, to boot).
What it means for free agency:
Bryce Harper will not sign for less than $300 million. 10-year contracts could become commonplace if the Machado move works out, but players like Giancarlo Stanton have proven how they can stunt a franchise’s growth and screw up their payroll. This move won’t change the state of free agency into an NBA-style bidding war. Great players without egos will still sign 3-year, $90 million deals (Clayton Kershaw), and end up with more championships and greater legacies for a few pennies cheaper. Harper, your move.