The San Diego Padres are spending like no other time in the history of the franchise.
A.J. Preller keeps outdoing himself as the team has acquired or signed Josh Hader, Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Josh Bell, Michael Wacha, Nelson Cruz, and Matt Carpenter (among others) within the last six months. Bogaerts received an 11-year deal at $280 million this winter as the Padres lured the longtime Red Sox away from Boston.
Peter Seidler and his ownership group are committed to winning as San Diego has moved into the upper echelon as far as spending goes. The Padres’ salary for the 2023 season is approaching $300 million, which is quite amazing when you think about the past of this organization and its propensity to be frugal.
The team is invested in the future, as Bogaerts and Tatis are signed through the 2033 season. Yu Darvish was handed a hefty extension this winter, and Joe Musgrove was signed to an extension last year. The Padres are committed to several players, but there are also some really big question marks.
Juan Soto is one issue, as the outfielder is signed for the next two seasons and has made it quite clear that he intends to test the free-agent market. The Padres paid a hefty price for the outfielder, and there are whispers that they would like to retain the outfielder and sign him to a long-term deal. That may cost the Padres upwards of $400 million, considering that Soto will be so young when he hits the open market after the 2024 season.
What will the Padres do?
The most recent issue and something that has come to the front burner is what will happen with Manny Machado, who is arguably the team’s captain. Machado, signed in February of 2019, possesses an opt-out after the 2023 season, and he intends to use it. At the time Machado was signed, his 10-year/$300 million contract was the largest contract in the history of North American sports.
Times have changed, and the third baseman wants to be paid.
“I think I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year,” Machado proclaimed in front of his locker in Peoria this week. He went on to mention that the market has changed, and the value of players is increasing. Machado has every intention to be paid more. He wants a raise, and the All-Star will get it.
Can the Padres afford to sign Soto and Machado in the next two seasons?
Most believe it will not be possible. Making a commitment to four to six players at $150 million per year (in total) or more puts a cramp on the overall construction of the roster. The Padres do not have waves of young talent arriving soon at the major league level, so the rest of their roster will be made up of players who are making decent money. Preller and his staff will need to find unheralded players or young players who are making a fraction of their worth. It will be complicated for the Padres to remain successful with a roster full of superstar talent.
Peter Seidler and his group are capable of opening up their pocketbooks and keep spending, but that is a lot to ask. At some point, the Padres’ spending will need to end. They cannot acquire every talented young player. It just isn’t possible.
Manny Machado should be the focus now for San Diego. In a bumpy 2022 season, he was the rock the team needed to make it all the way to the NLCS.
Listening to Machado this week, you get a sense that he is slightly upset. The two sides briefly negotiated a new deal, but nothing came to fruition. Listen for yourself as Machado spoke this week in Peoria.
Manny Machado was asked if he’s going to be a Padre next year.
Machado: “I think I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year.” pic.twitter.com/zEAzmwDdNb
— 97.3 The Fan (@973TheFanSD) February 17, 2023
This clip does not sound good if you are a Padres fan.
The fact he is making this public in the spring seems a bit odd. Did he have early negotiations with the club and not like what he was offered? There is really no incentive for him to speak this candidly in front of the media. Most players wouldn’t address the issue, but Machado clearly welcomed discussing the topic.
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In an important season, Manny Machado is not happy. That is concerning.
It is essentially a contract year for Machado as he intends to take offers on his services next winter. The production from the third baseman should be present, but you have to worry about him being content with being a Padre. There are exciting things happening in San Diego, and Manny Machado should be front and center as the Padres compete yearly for a World Series title. Things are getting complicated for the Padres and Manny Machado, and there really is no end in sight.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.