Today Manny Machado agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, the single biggest free agent contract in American sports history, at least for now, as Bryce Harper could be getting even more money.
Machado met with the White Sox, Yankees and Phillies but the Padres came out of nowhere to sign the coveted star shortstop/third baseman and they're rumored to be in on Bryce Harper as well. The team won just 66 games last season, so they're not exactly the typical landing spot for the best free agents but in the end Machado chose the money over a potential World Series ring.
Don't get me wrong, the Padres do have a bright future and at 26 years old Machado is younger than most MLB free agents. San Diego's World Series odds were cut in half at Jazz Sports, going from +10000 to +5000. This is not a bet I plan to make but although they're not contenders yet, it can't be denied that they're moving in the right direction.
The Padres have the best farm system in the majors according to ESPN's Keith Law, headlined by Fernando Tatis Jr., the No. 2 overall prospect in MLB.com's Top 100 list. Overall they have seven top-50 prospects and nine total prospects on the list.
Now the Padres could opt to trade several of these pieces for more established veteran help, especially in the pitching department, or just keep them and let them develop.
Machado joins a middle of the lineup that has Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes. This team has an interesting mix of established bats and youngsters that could surprise in the near future. To me, making the postseason in 2019 will be an uphill battle for them but they can at least reach 80 wins and fight until the end.
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON