Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
On Feb. 21, the San Diego Padres officially signed free-agent third basemen Manny Machado to a 10 year-$300 million contract. It marks the biggest free agent contract in North American Sports History.
Manny Machado went into the offseason as a shortstop, and he wanted to play shortstop for a team that was willing to give him the money, but when no team wanted to pay him at shortstop, he was open to moving to third base, which was a position of need for the Padres going into the season.
Machado made his Major League debut in 2012 with the Baltimore Orioles, where he spent his whole career up until the All-Star Break of the 2018 season when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers to play shortstop after Corey Seager needed to undergo Tommy John Surgery.
Machado is a four-time All-Star and has won two gold gloves as a third baseman, so the Padres will be getting one of the best third basemen in all of baseball.
He will be hitting in a young lineup that will include Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, Luis Urias, and Hunter Renfroe, so he will need to be the leader on the team.
Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to be brought up at some point during the 2019 season to be the starting shortstop. He has already hit two home runs in Spring Training in Arizona. The infield will consist of the first baseman Eric Hosmer, second baseman Luis Urias, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., and third baseman Machado.
After signing Machado, the Padres are going to be an interesting team this season, especially with the expected arrivals of top pitching prospects Chris Paddack and Logan Allen.
The Padres are still not set to win this season, but the Padres timetable to win has been sped up, so expect the team to be contending for the National League West starting in 2020, and be in the postseason in 2021.