The top free agents in baseball still do not have a home and that includes Manny Machado. The Padres are out of reasons to not sign him.
Manny Machado still remains unsigned less than three weeks before pitchers and catchers report.
The infielder is widely considered one of the top two available free agents on the market this offseason, along with Bryce Harper, who also shockingly, remains team-less. There have been rumors that a “mystery team” is in on Machado and perhaps offering him more money than the White Sox had been reported to offer.
With recent articles coming out frustrating fans about the lack of spending and alleged “penny-pinching” by Padres ownership, this would come as a welcome surprise.
Frankly, the Padres are out of excuses not to sign Manny Machado.
If the rumors are true that Machado is mostly interested in who can pay him the most, there is no reason why the Padres cannot be a front-runner to sign the four-time All-Star and Platinum Glove recipient. We are talking about a generational talent here, available at the ripe age of 26 years old.
Not sure if it qualifies them for “Mystery Team” status, but the Padres have checked in w/ Machado, Moustakas, Marwin and yes, Harper. Their plan is to shoot for 2020, and no word yet they’ve made offers to any of the 4, but they could move up the timetable with one big buy.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2019
Let’s take a look at some “excuses” floating around about why the Padres would not sign Machado and debunk them.
“He’s too expensive.”
It’s now well documented that the Padres have money to spend. The cat is out of the bag. The Padres payroll is just south of $75 million, which is almost $30 million less than last season when the Padres were at about $104 million. The current league average for payroll is over $118 million. The Padres rank 25th in the league, over $40 million short of that number.
The Padres could easily sign Manny Machado and still be under the league’s average payroll. An offer of 10 years for $310 million ($31 million per year) would put the Padres at about $103 million for 2019, which is not only below the league’s average but below their own payroll from last season.
That contract idea leads me to the second excuse that has been spreading…
“10 years is too long of a commitment.”
Like I mentioned before, Machado is still only 26 years old. A 10-year contract would put him at 36 years old. Robinson Cano and Albert Pujols both received gaudy 10-year contracts that maybe have not paid off to its full value on the field. Cano signed that contract before his age 31 season. That’s five years older than Machado. And Pujols? He was 32.
Both of these men will be over 40 years old when those contracts expire. Machado will be barely into his mid-30’s. Not all 10-year contracts are created equal. One could argue that this situation is unprecedented, perhaps the only precedent being his free agent counterpart Bryce Harper.
Ignore previous 10-year contracts, this one will be different.
“He’s a jerk.”
I’m not here to say he has not done questionable things. I even tweeted my disgust with some of his playoff antics last season, but looking back, it was mostly due to the fact that he was playing for the Dodgers in the NLCS and I was bitter. There’s no denying he plays with a certain…edge. But you know what? The Padres have zero edge. No attitude. No fight. Machado wants to win. Give me a guy like that on my team.
Plus, his teammates seem to like him and vice versa.
Just a reminder about how a couple of old Machado teammates feel about him. pic.twitter.com/8vGrr20qag
— Manny Machado Loves Debt Reducing (@COOK17) January 23, 2019
He has not been charged with domestic abuse. He has not been suspended for Performance Enhancing Drugs. He has not been arrested or dragged out of a club. Forgive me for thinking a few minor on-field antics are inconsequential to his talent and what he can do to a baseball at the plate.
“It doesn’t fit the timeline.”
A team’s “window” is usually predicated on when they think they will have good enough players to make a playoff push. Do you know who instantly makes a lineup look similar to a playoff lineup? Manny Machado. Signing Machado would create a new window. He’s the type of player that could shift timelines. Imagine the young (and Latin), talented prospects the Padres have that would look up to a player like Machado and perhaps play up to his level? 2019 would become the new 2020 if Machado is wearing Padre threads this next season. Even if it doesn’t, he would be signed long term, thus still being a huge part of the team when they expect to be good.
A player of Machado’s talent changes entire organizations. The Dodgers don’t win the NL Pennant without Machado. The Orioles are not remotely relevant over the past half-decade without Machado. Do you want to make a move that will dwarf the fanfare that Eric Hosmer brought? Sign Manny Machado.
“We don’t need him.”
Stop it. Yes “we” do. Over the past four seasons, Machado has averaged 36 home runs, a .284 average and a 128 wRC+. The Padres’ best hitter over that span has been Wil Myers, who has averaged .252 with 19 home runs and a 111 wRC+. Plus the Padres have a gaping hole at third base, where Machado plays his best defense (two Gold Gloves and the aforementioned Platinum Glove). The Padres haven’t had a Gold Glover at any position since 2012.
Of course, the Padres need Manny Machado. Fernando Tatis Jr. would love to play next to someone he draws comparisons to. If the Padres are serious about being respectable in 2019 and contending in 2020, Machado is the move to make.