“Padres-The Day After”
Padres baseball on Wednesday felt even better than it did on Tuesday when news broke that Manny Machado had decided to take the biggest free agent contract offer in the history of baseball.
News & Notes & Reactions:
WHY SAN DIEGO……..The Padres offer was all all guaranteed….no deferred money…no incentive clauses….300M was 300M, with the potential to opt out after the fifth season….it surpassed what the White Sox offered.
WHY NOT CHICAGO….The Chisox upped their offer twice to Machado, then were shocked when he said no. His brother in law is Yonder Alonso…his cousin is John Jay, both wearing the ‘SOX’ logo. But Chicago’s final offer was (8Y-240M)…with two option years the club would hold. Yes the deal could have been worth a total of 320M….but it was not the players call on the contract extension.
PADRES OWNERSHIP……Lead owner Ron Fowler said last fall he could never-ever see his franchise offering anyone a 10-year deal or 30M a year. Then the lead money man, Peter Seidler, and GM-AJ Preller convinced Fowler that the early investment on Machado would bear dividends when the club’s top young talent was arriving.
PADRES FINANCING…All the dead money that Prellar forced the team to swallow over his bad deals, will pretty much come off the books after this season. As the Padres start to win with Machado, revenues will continue to go up. The youth on the roster will not be earning mega dollars yet because they are not arbitration eligible. Only Eric Hosmer-Wil Myers will be big money earners going into 2020 when the Padres could be playoff ready.
THE NEED….Lost in all the excitement was the dose of reality, all the losing seasons, a struggle to get attendance to the 2M mark…and the Sports Illustrated report that Padres TV ratings were down (44%) over the last three years. The organization seemed on the brink of losing the community emotionally, stunning in that the Charges gave them the city to themselves. A need to start winning sooner-than-later.
THE MANAGER…Depending on which corner of the clubhouse you are in, Andy Green’s style of managing is suffocating….or the front office is so demanding of the use of analytics, that the fun is taken out of the game…..The lineup shuffling daily….the upheaval in the coaching staff on a yearly basis….The over managing of every item in the dugout have led to unhappiness…..Green now has an everyday roster that seems to have potential infront of it…not old history (Kemp-Shields-Upton) of agendas behind it…..Green has to answer about the fact he has gone thru 8-different coaches on his staff in three years, and the mistakes he’s made in hirings.
NUMBERS GAME…Yes the Padres have an overload in the outfield, but they have the ability to option some of them back to El Paso to start the season to alleviate a jam. The same can be said of the shortstop of the future Fernando Tatis, who appears likely to start at AAA this year, unless he hits spring training pitching well. We might have another Kris Bryant-Ron Acuna issue here in San Diego, where guys earn a job in camp, only to go back to the minors to start the season so their arbitration clock doesn’t start. Only the next six weeks will tell.
WAITING GAME….There’s still pitching out there to be signed, and maybe the price tag will come down on what established guys are left. And maybe short term deals for hurlers, knowing Machado-Hosmer-Myers-Renfroe will be in the lineup makes San Diego a destination point. Maybe a 3-year deal on Dallas Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez. Maybe a 1-year deal on guys coming off injuries like Ervin Santana or Clay Bucholz might make sense. Or maybe a trade of an extra outfielder or a prospect for a veteran arm on another club after the Cactus League-Grapefruit circuit gets started. The Padres have leverage, have depth, something they have not enjoyed in modern years.