Yesterday afternoon, former Baltimore Oriole star Manny Machado signed a 10-year $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres ( first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN). It took the entire offseason for the shortstop / third baseman to get his deal, but the result appears to be what he wanted from the start. It is also a big win for the small market Padres who have been trying to become a competitor in the National League. But the question still remains: how good does this signing actually make the Padres?
The deal definitely makes the Padres a better team, but they still need to add starting pitching until they can seriously be considered contenders. As it currently stands the ace of their rotation is Joey Lucchesi, who posted a 4.08 ERA in his first MLB season. On a contending team a guy like Lucchesi is a third starter and nothing more. Obviously it is possible for him to become a star, but even beyond him they do not have much. Their fourth and fifth starters both had above 7 ERA’s last season. No team can win with that even if Manny Machado is batting in the middle of their lineup.
San Diego does the have the ability to make moves considering the fact that they have one of the best farm systems in baseball, but they have to be willing to move on from those guys like Fernando Tatis Jr. if they want to contend right now.
They may not even need those prospects either. They have a solid lineup now with Machado, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, and heavy hitting outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes. Add in Francisco Meija – who may already be one of the best hitting catchers in the MLB – the offense is not something to mess with.
Overall it is a great move for San Diego. It brings excitement to a franchise that has been lacking some for a long time. The fact that Tony Gwynn is the first guy I think of when I hear San Diego Padres is a problem. With Machado now in the fold, that changes. They get a star who is ready to contribute right away that will try and get them to the playoffs in the near future.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)