On February 19th, the San Diego Padres signed free agent Manny Machado. The Padres gave Machado a 10 year, 300 million dollar contract (Opt out after 5 years).
For the second off season in a row, the San Diego Padres signed one of the top free agents in the class. In the off season leading up to the 2018 season, the Padres signed Eric Hosmer.
Eric Hosmer was the top first basemen of that off season. Getting interest from teams like the Red Sox, Royals but ultimately picking the team from San Diego. Heading into free agency for Hosmer, he batted .318 with 192 hits, 25 home runs, 92 RBIs, and a .495 slugging. Hosmer posted the best season of his career. His asking price, 8 years and around 140 million dollars.
With coming down to the final two teams in the Eric Hosmer sweepstakes, the hometown Royals and the Padres. Both teams gave Hosmer what he wanted. Royals offered 7 years and $147 million, while the Padres offered 7 years and $140 million. But the Padres made one last offer, adding and extra year and 4 million dollars. Claiming the top free agent from the team the drafted him.
And now, the Padres did it again. Being the third favorite to sign Manny Machado, on Tuesday February 19th both parties agreed to terms. Beating teams like the Chicago White Sox (favorite) and the New York Yankees. Now lets not forget the Padres didn't meet it Machado until February.
So the what made Manny Machado sign within 25 days? Could it be the city? The weather? The division? Possibly, but I'm willingly to bet it is the farm system. MLB came out January 26th, with putting 10 Padres in the top 100. Claiming the top farm system in MLB. Fernando Tatis Jr. the number 2 overall prospect and number 1 short stop prospect. Fransico Mejia the number 26 overall prospect and number 2 cather prospect. Luis Urias the number 23 overall prospect and number 2 second basemen prospect. And to finish it off the San Diego Padres have 4 pitchers in the top 10 for left handers.
The future is bright for San Diego. They will have the young core come up within the next 2-3 years. We can once again see a tough Padres team.
But lets not forget, the Padres are still in the market for a Gio Gonzales and most importantly Bryce Harper. And with the addition of Manny Machado along with the best farm system. why wouldn't one if not both sign with San Diego?
In the case for Harper, the San Diego Padres does not have a top 10 outfield prospect that they are waiting for. And so now we look at the 2018 right fielder for San Diego as well as the project right fielder for 2019. A man by the name of Franmil Reyes was the game 162 right fielder as well as the projected. Being is 1st year in the big leagues and playing 87 games with the Padres. Batting .280 with 73 hits, 16 home runs, and slugging .498. It maybe a small sample size but this kid will have a bright future ahead of him.
With Wil Myers taking control of the other outfield spot, that leaves one spot left. Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot, both batted around the .245 mark. Hunter Renfroe caused more strikeouts at the plates (109) than hits (100). And in 147 games Margot batted .245 with only 8 home runs. So a spot is available in the Padres outfield. Whether you move Franmil to center field or left field and same with Wil Myers.
Adding a Gio Gonzalez to the organization will be a great veteran addition. Especially with the 4 young lefties they having on the way. What Gio Gonzalez did for the Brewers with is short time in Milwaukee saved his free agency. In the 5 regular seasons games he started his posted a 2.13 era with 22 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. Gio will give you quality starts and can mentor the upcoming lefties for the next 3 to 4 years.
And don't be surprised if the Padres steal another free agent this coming off season. A Gerrit Cole, Dellin Betances, Madison Bumgarner, to name a few top pitching free agents. The Padres are sneaky, don't be fooled by them.