Manny Machado is on the road to Padres immortality

Oct 14, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado (13) introduced before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game three of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

With the news of Manny Machado‘s extension, he is setting up to become one of the all-time greats in San Diego Padres history.

Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres are set to be together for the next decade-plus. Already, the star third baseman has entrenched himself as one of the game’s best third basemen and a Padres fan favorite.

With the time he now has ahead of him in a Padres uniform, that being 11 years, only your imagination can limit what heights he can reach.

He was an all-world talent even before slipping on the Padres’ brown and gold (er, navy and white in 2019). After the first four years in a Padres uniform, it’s safe to say he is on a unique trajectory that could end with him someday making a speech in Cooperstown, NY. He is only 30 years old and already has over 1,500 hits and 280 homers. Along with his elite defense, he may someday reach milestones that will be tough to ignore on a Hall of Fame ballot.

Either way, his path to Padres franchise immortality is even clearer to see and more within reach.

First off, there is a very good chance he will break the franchise home run record. He needs to average just 28 home runs for the next two seasons to break Nate Colbert‘s mark of 163. Machado currently ranks ninth all-time with 108 homers.

It’s pretty safe to say that if, and when Machado breaks the franchise home run mark, he punches his ticket to the Padres Hall of Fame.

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The next step after that is getting his No. 13 retired (somehow, Colbert’s 17 remains unretired). What else can Machado accomplish?

Even when Machado becomes the Padres’ all-time home run king, there are still many things on the to-do list. Firstly, and more importantly, is a World Series championship. In case you didn’t know, no Padres player in history has ever brought the city a title. Machado being the leader and face of the first Padres team to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy and have a parade down the Gaslamp Quarter, will seal his fate as one of the greatest to ever play baseball in San Diego.

Forget just retiring his number. If he does all that, there’s a space with his name on it for a statue out in Gallagher Square.

World Series are hard to win. Baseball is a team game, after all. There are some all-time great players who never won one (Ted Williams and Barry Bonds, to name a few). Heaven forbid the Padres never win one, Machado still has a great chance at being the greatest Padres hitter not named Tony Gwynn.

He is already eighth in franchise history in WAR for position players. With at least a 2.9-WAR season (he is coming off of a 6.8-WAR campaign), he will become third all-time, just behind guys named Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield. An argument can be made that he is already the greatest Padres infielder in history.

The 30-year-old is fourth in both slugging percentage and OPS+ in franchise history, as well. Given a few more seasons, he will clearly be among the best in several statistical categories on franchise lists.

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He already has had numerous iconic moments in a Padres uniform. He has already played in 18 postseason games with the Padres, hitting six home runs. Against the Dodgers in last year’s NL Division Series, he posted a staggering 1.113 OPS. He stepped up in the big moments. He had at least an .810 OPS in all three postseason series last season.

Over his 11-year contract extension period, he needs to average 20 home runs and 128 hits per season to reach the coveted plateaus of 500 and 3,000. All this while being one of the most respected defensive third basemen in baseball. He is the farthest thing from a one-trick pony. This horse has all the tricks.

It’s not hard to imagine him not only making the Hall of Fame one day but doing so donning a Padres cap. Feel free to dream, those dreams may come true.

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