Manny Machado Becomes a Padre: The True Story of a Bad Decision

Posted: February 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

Let me begin by acknowledging I believe in the Albert Pujols Rule:  ten-year contracts are nut job crazy.  Bat shit crazy.  Crazy crazy.  Ask Artie Moreno.

The only ten-year good news is Manny can leave after year five.  Here’s hoping.  Face the fact that five years from now, Mr. Machado is halfway to the Hall of Fame (no) or he is breaking his surf board, swearing off non-meat and heading east (yes).

Many positive facts adorn this signing by the Padres.  First, Padres management took a chance.  Taking a chance can be applauded (successfully brewing a beer that is not an IPA) or booed (Tesla and cars).  Time will tell.  Manny is all of 26.  He has logged seven years of productive MLB time primarily with bad to average Baltimore Orioles teams and a half-year with the Dodgers.  During his Baltimore time (not a jail reference, though it could be), Manny played when all was lost by the middle of August if not before.  2012 through 2017, he played a minimum of 156 games each of those years including 162 in 2015 and again in 2018.  Less 2012, he had a minimum of 630+ at bats.  He did a lot by himself or with very little help.

179 home runs have flown from his bat the last five years.  If he stays all 10 years in San Diego that equates to 358 dingers as a Padre.  Granted, his rbi total registered only once above 100 (107 in 2018).  Only two other seasons was he above 90.  The N.L.’s long time reputation as a fastball league may well make the difference and place Mr. Machado above the 100 rbi mark on a seasonal basis.  Then again, Padres’ hitters look at on base percentage as an after thought preferring to strike out or ground out while again attempting to pull an outside pitch much to the delight of middle infielders.  And, as long as MLB continues the dreaded inter-league play, perhaps one off-speed pitch too many during a three-game series against an A.L. team will leave Manny walking to the dugout with a stranded, nay, abandoned runner on second.

His cumulative line of .282/.335 and 31/90 along with 37 doubles does not scream $300 million over any period of time.  Nor does wrapping Manny firmly in the middle of the San Diego line up full of young, frolicking, yet underachieving souls make the ridiculous sum of money for an absurd number of years any more palatable.  Yes, those of you who scream and point to increased ticket sales (and rightfully so) will fall into the grind of August playoff slippage swallowed by September’s cruel cry of “Not yet!  We don’t have enough pitching!”  Damn the Dodgers and Rockies!  But, not the Snakes because trading Paul Goldschmidt for a box fan and tube of sunscreen was dumb.  And certainly not the Giants because not having money or a minor league development system is small and short.

Fine, let’s talk about the lineup.  Do not be too quick to assume potential and power realized in the trio of Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Wil “I’m Injured” Myers.  Much good may come.  And should.  But should is a dangerous word.  I should lose weight.  I should wear my glasses while driving.  I should take out the trash.  Machado, Hosmer and Myers should do well.

What about the others?  Franmil Reyes (best player in the Padres system who must be on the 25 man roster before the season begins), Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, Luis Urias (lose Fernando Tatis, Jr. and stick with Mr. Urias.  You read that slander here first) and the catching duo of Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia would surely benefit from Machado/Hosmer/Myers.  True.  And here is the intrigue, Eric Hosmer is the old man at the age of 29.  All others mentioned are between the ages of 21 (Mr. Urias) and 28 (Mr. Myers).  Contracts are a distant concern.  The future is bright and near, not the usual dot on the Pacific’s horizon in the Padres case.

I admit that the Padres are my favorite N.L. team and have been since the days of the Taco Bell uniforms and fist fights in the left field stands at the Murph during Dodger games.  Ah, sweet times.  But, in the name of Carmelo “Except for fly balls, I like playing left field” Martinez, $300 million for 10 years for anybody is deranged.


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