Yesterday, the San Diego Padres signed free agent shortstop Manny Machado to a 10 year, 300 million dollar contract. The contract was not only the biggest contract in the history of the San Diego Padres, it was the biggest free agent contract in the history of any North American sports league. Did the Padres makes the right decision to invest more than a quarter of a billion dollars into one player for the next decade?
Image: First look at Manny Machado in a Padres uniform
First let’s look at the benefits of this deal. For starters, the San Diego Padres now have a bone-a-fide superstar on their team for the next ten seasons. Machado is considered to be one of the top 20 players in all of baseball, and a top 5 player at both shortstop and third base. Through his age 26 season, Machado has a slash line of .282/.335/.487 with 175 HR’s, 513 RBI’s, and a career WAR of 33.80. Machado is also a 4-time all star, a 2 time gold glove winner, and a platinum glove winner. His on the field resume is tremendous, and while he didn’t excel for the Dodgers like many people, had expected (myself included),, he is just hitting the prime of his career yet he is already producing at a Hall of Fame level.
Image: Manny Machado rounding the bases after a home run as an Oriole
Machado will now become the centerpiece for an organization that has a lot to look forward to. The Padres currently have 10 of the top 100 prospects in all of baseball, including the #2 overall prospect in Fernando Tatis Jr. who is expected to arrive in the majors this year. The Padres could become a legitimate threat to the NL by the end of this year. Not to mention the fact that other star players who are free agents, or in the last year of their contracts, will now look at San Diego as a team with a chance to compete for a title for the next 5-7 years.
Image: Fernando Tatis Jr playing for the San Antonio Missions
Signing a player like Machado also does a lot for the Padres off the field. It will bring in more fans to the ballpark on a daily basis, increase jersey sales, and give the San Diego fanbase a superstar to get behind as he takes their team to the next level. The Padres have not had a true superstar of this caliber on their team in nearly a decade and a signing like this could be just what the team needs in order to entice their fans.
Image: Happy Padres fans
While there are a lot of positives to this deal, there are certainly a few downsides to it as well. First off, I don’t know if the Padres have paid attention to the MLB in the last 15 years, but every contract that has been signed for 10 years has not turned out well to the team giving the contract. From players like Albert Pujols to Robinson Cano to Giancarlo Stanton, the 10 year contract has been a thorn in many franchises’ sides due to the fact that the players have not produced at the same level they had before signing the contracts. Not to mention that baseball contracts are fully guaranteed so even if the player is hurt and doesn’t play, he still gets paid.
Image: Players with bad MLB contracts
To go along with the uncertainty of players and their health, you also don’t know what version of the player you are going to get for the next 10 years. The Manny Machado who was an Oriole was mostly worth this contract, but the Manny Machado who was a Dodger certainly was not. All of his statistics were down lower than his career averages while with the Dodgers, and considering he is going to spend the next 10 years in the same division as he was in the 2nd half of last season, I would have to take a serious look at if this is a guy who we can build a franchise around in the NL West.
Image: Machado in his Dodger uniform complaining about a call
So to answer the question, is Machado worth the money, is a hard one to answer. I personally would have wanted to sign him for less, say 8 years, $225 million dollars with an option after the 5th year. 10 years is too long for a player to be under contract in my opinion and after the way he played for the Dodgers he was certainly not worth $30 million a year to me. However, for the time being in San Diego, he was worth $300 million to the Padres and that’s all that matters to him and his family. Plus if all else fails, the guy can live out the rest of his life in a beautiful house on the water and never have to worry about money again.
Image: Machado celebrating after a home run for the Dodgers
Do you think Manny is worth the Money? How much would you pay for a star like Machado. Leave a comment below and as always, thanks for reading!