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Manny Machado ends up in San Diego

The Manny Machado “sweepstakes” are finally over. The four-time All-Star has finally inked the mega free agent deal he was coveting. It, uh, wasn’t with the team he was probably expecting, though.

Machado ended up inking a 10-year deal worth $300 million with the San Diego Padres, which is what he was reportedly looking for at the beginning of free agency. Again, nobody expected San Diego was going to end up being the place one of the biggest free agent names in baseball history was going to end up, but here we are!

Good on the Padres for capitalizing on this bizarre everyone-is-rebuilding-at-the-same-time free agent market. They’re basically the Jays but a year or two ahead, on the cusp of a contention window with a loaded cupboard of prospects. Adding Machado accelerates their window and gives the Padres a legitimate superstar while guys like Fernando Tatis Jr. break into the league.

On the bright side, this is good news for the Jays. I thought it was inevitable either Machado or Bryce Harper (or both!) would sign with the Yankees, but now it’s looking like they’re both going to end up in the National League.

On the not-so-bright side, it’s disappointing to see a market like San Diego capitalize on this free agent market while the Jays are standing pat. I mean, yeah, 10 years is a little steep, but you’re still getting a lot of Machado’s prime for $30 million annually. Having him or Harper in the mix as Vlad, Bo, and Co. work their way up to the bigs would been a game-changer.

I think the thing that’s agitating about the Jays standing pat is how they’re planning (hopefully!) to dive into free agency a few years from now, which is going to be when a bunch of other rebuilding teams are also going to (possibly!) be going in. You’d think this nobody-wants-to-win scenario would create a perfect opportunity for a team like the Jays to swoop in and acquire a mega star they usually wouldn’t be able to acquire.

Oh well. At least it wasn’t the Yankees!

  • El Cabeza

    Yeah – we’ll spend in 2021 when the new core is all ready to make an impact. Only 15 other teams will be ‘ready to spend’ then too, and there won’t be any elite FA’s anyway. But we’ll be ready!

    • Mose

      I do like the idea of a big lefty masher paired with Vladdie et al

      Is Harper the real deal in your estimation? Would he carry the Jays to perennial playoff contention a la Josh/Joey Bats?

      • Kristen Sprague

        Both Joey and JD were late bloomers so their prime wasn’t as long. Harper is 26 and arguably could still have a higher ceiling than what we’ve seen already. 10 years is monster term but IMHO worth the risk

  • Mose

    Although both Machado and Harper are young and with compelling stats, neither are without warts.

    Is it possible that most teams don’t see Machado or Harper as leaders that will help carry them to the promised land?

    If you could choose any player to build your team around to compete and win a World Series, would either Manny or Bryce be at the top of your list?

    I’d have some combo of Betts, Trout, Judge and Lindor at the top of my list.

    If they aren’t at the top of your list, adding $300M for either of these players who will then compliment your existing roster is a big bet.

    Perhaps Philly can pull it off with Bryce…

    • The Humungus

      Bryce Harper is 9 days younger than Mookie Betts and a free agent right now, not two years from now.

      Harper is also younger than Trout and Judge and only a year older than Lindor (who still has 3 years left of control in Cleveland)

      It’s not about them being the guy you build around. Vladito is the guy you build around. This is the guy you sign to fill a desperate team need (lefty mashing corner bat) with the best available player.

      • Mose

        Convincing argument… Kirsten’s too… appreciate your perspective 🙂

        Seems some aren’t sold on Bryce’s make-up/character…

        Guessing the Jays, in a perfect world, would prefer to compliment Vladito after he establishes himself as THE GUY…

        I agree… Bryce would compliment the Jays offensive talent nicely…

        His defensive skills seemed to be weakening, but… Teoscar…

        • The Humungus

          I hate the idea that they’re waiting until AFTER he establishes himself instead of doing it now. It’s going to be 6 years before there are guys like this going FA under the current CBA terms (Acuna, Mesa, Soto, etc).

  • bocajacob

    I guess Machado was the last decent FA available for the rest of time. Too bad the team doesn’t have any decent prospects at SS to make up for this morale crushing blow of having the Jays not acquired Machado.

  • Terry Mesmer

    Let the Padres collect long, underperforming contracts (Myers, Hosmer, Machado) all they want. I would rather save that money to 1) extend our young stars when they establish themselves, 2) trade for good arb-eligible players that small markets can no longer afford, and 3) sign FAs to shorter, higher AAS contracts for what else we need when we need it (mainly, pitchers, I reckon).

    • The Humungus

      I mean, Machado is 26 and on a Hall of Fame track, especially as a 3B. Like, he’s the best defensive 3B since Brooks Robinson, only unlike Brooks, he can hit, too.

      But sure. Long, underperforming contracts that take a guy to his age 35 season or whatever.

        • The Humungus

          Machado is better than all of them by DRS and UZR when you account for how many fewer innings he’s played.

          Also, Schmidt was not a great glove man. He was far more bat than glove.

          • Magicaleigh

            Did you even bother to look at their UZR/150 for Rolen and Beltre? Cause they’re both ahead of Machado.

            And Schmidt was a fantastic defensive player what are you even talking about.

          • The Humungus

            Schmidt committed over 300 errors in his career and had a fielding percentage of .955; given those are the best metrics available at the time, and Machado would commit about 240 errors in the same number of innings, yeah, sure. Fantastic. He won a bunch of Gold Gloves because he was Mike Schmidt, not because he was the best defensive 3B. See Jeter, Derek.

            Machado, even with a decline, is on pace to exceed Beltre and theoretical Rolen (as UZR didn’t exist his first 6 seasons) in RdrS, ErrS and total UZR. His UZR/150 should pick back up provided he doesn’t get hurt. At worst, he’s the second coming of Beltre. At best, he’s the best since Brooks. Either way, his glove is elite at 3B.

      • Terry Mesmer

        You have a fair point…but it agrees with mine. FG published a compelling piece today that Machado will be worth his contract. But will SDP be able to fill the holes (pitching!) now that they have three big contracts?
        The Jays just struggled through that dilemma. I hope they do not face it again in the Vladdy Era of Total Goodness.

        • The Humungus

          It will have to be seen. From what I can see in the prospect rankings, the Padres don’t have anyone like the Pardinho/Pearson pair in the Jays system.

          • Mose

            I was inspired to learn of a four pitch mix where Pardinho can add and subtract like a pro, and the effectiveness of a Greg Maddux and John Tudor that came from a similar arsenal…

            Unless of course you’re Pearson and you can flip triple digits at the plate…

          • The Humungus

            @ Mose

            Pardinho can hit 97, too. It might not be *checks notes* 104, *checks notes again* (are you fucking serious? 104? And he’s a starter? Get the fuck out of here.)

            Y’know what? All velocity discussions are now closed, because Nate Pearson is a goddamned man.

          • Mose

            Pardinho can touch 97?! …

            And he’s all of 18 yrs old & 47 days and a whopping 5’10” & 155 lbs…

            Seems like Pedro size, and fingers crossed, the same upside:)

  • dolsh

    I don’t even think the Padres are that far ahead of Toronto. Good on them for recognizing an opportunity to make their team better. More than anything, I’ll be even more disappointed if Toronto does nothing about Harper. I’d at least want to know they talked to him (I honestly don’t think he would ever come to Toronto).

    • Mose

      Guessing your point is the reason Machado isn’t wearing Yankee pinstripes…

      I agree with the stats and the perspective Humungus provides and Machado seems to pale in comparison to Jeter…

      Knowing the Padres are going back to brown, it might take $30M per year to get anyone to wear those colors… yeeessh