The baseball free-agent market has been in a deep freeze for most of the offseason, but it finally thawed Tuesday when Manny Machado reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres.
Machado, 26, had been courted by several teams throughout the offseason, but eventually decided to take what appears to be the most lucrative offer on the table to live in one of the nicest cities in the country.
The Padres, who signed first baseman Eric Hosmer to a $144 million deal last offseason, have one of the best farm systems in baseball and clearly believe a player of Machado’s caliber can help take them back to the playoffs in the next couple of years.
San Diego has gotten little production from its shortstops over the past three seasons, but that should drastically change with Machado now in the fold.
The Padres’ lack of pitching likely will hold them back from making the playoffs in 2019, but if Machado and Hosmer can help lure one or two free agent arms to the beautiful Southern California coast, San Diego could rival the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the National League West sooner rather than later.