“Padres Baseball-A New Era”
It begins in mid-morning, when Manny Machado meets his new teammates at the Padres spring training camp.
The ex-Orioles and Dodgers slugger comes on board as a catalyst. They think he can be the glue that holds together a young clubhouse. They hope he can be the fuse that lights up the rest of the lineup.
It is indeed a tremendous investment, this 30M a year commitment. They won’t win immediately, but they should win within two years, with him at the front of the pack.
The big debate now is whether this is the greatest acquisition in Padres history.
Only time will tell on that, based on where they finish in the standings. But this franchise has been bold before.
Pick a name, and know there have been difference makers in the past, who came via trades or free agency.
GM-Kevin Towers engineered the deal that brought the fierce competitor Kevin Brown to the front of the rotation, and resulted in the team getting to the World Series. He was here a short time but made a big difference.
Ditto the deal that brought 50-home run hitter Greg Vaughn on board, a key contributor.
The Trevor Hoffman acquisition gave the team, the fans, the city, a decade and a half look at what would become a Hall of Fame career and some great seasons..
The first modern day blockbuster trade might have been the Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley acquisitions, guys who delivered thunder and lightning and became huge personalities on the roster.
If you remember the Padres version of the 4-Tops, led by Tony Gwynn…supplemented by Fred McGriff, Gary Sheffield and more. Those were great days.
The early years of the Padres baseball delivered the community a list of quality free agents. Ray Kroc saved baseball when he bought the team, and invested in free agency.
Think Steve Garvey, Gene Tenace, Goose Gossage, Gaylord Perry and a host of others.
Padres baseball has had its flashes of greatness and excitement. This has not always been the Washington Senators or Kansas City Athletics, or the back in the day Cubs, year after year
From Ballard Smith to Trader Jack McKeon, to Randy Smith, to Kevin Towers and now to AJ Preller. A group of front office execs not afraid to be bold. Get players-get things done.
So now we wait to see if Machado + Money + Farm system = Playoff days shortly.