I am rooting for Manny Machado. There, I said it.
Manny Machado FINALLY signed a deal with the San Diego Padres for 300 million dollars over 10 years with an opt-out after the fifth year. The baseball world has been starving for one of the two biggest free agents to sign, and the first domino has finally dropped.
The reaction to the news didn’t shock me at all. Fans are upset with Machado, claiming that he’s just in it for the money. The Padres probably won’t be a play-off team this year, but this deal isn’t for the short-term gain. My argument is one that a lot of diehard baseball fans understand. San Diego has the best farm system in baseball right now. With the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr., who could be playing right next to Machado on the infield, is one of the most highly touted prospects in the game today. The Padres also have a ton of pitchers in their system, something that they’re missing right now. The point is, the Padres now have Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer, young stars of the game, to help mentor and bring up these young players.
On the same point, this is good for baseball. A small market team shelled out the money and acquired one of the best players in baseball. The same people that say “all he wanted was the money” are the same people that would’ve lambasted Machado for taking less money to chase a ring with a team like the Yankees. You can’t have it both ways.
Machado, who had a very poor showing in last year’s World Series thanks to a lack of hustle and what looked like a malicious stomp on Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce, deserves a lot of the hate that came his way. There is no doubt that these issues hurt his free agency campaign, but at the end of the day he got what he aimed to get.
All of this being said, I’m rooting for Manny Machado. I think choosing to sign with the Padres helps him escape the spotlight a bit, something that can only help him after the conclusion of last season. I think this is a great deal for both sides. The Padres have their superstar to build around, and this fast forwards their re-build by a couple of years. I’m really excited to eventually see Machado defend the left side of the infield with Fernando Tatis Jr. I’ll be paying more attention to the Padres this year, and I recommend that you do the same.
Machado is hands down one of the best players in baseball, and he’s deserved all 300 million he is going to receive. Good for you, Manny.