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.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 19, 2019
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!