The Manny Machado Saga

Anthony Baamonde, Staff Writer

On Feb. 21 the San Diego Padres signed free agent infielder, Manny Machado to a 10-year contract worth $300 million. The quest to sign the all-star third baseman had teams in a frenzy this offseason. Now that the dust has settled, and Machado has been PAID let’s take a look back at the Manny Machado saga.

The story starts in July of 2018, just before the trade deadline. Machado was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angels Dodgers. The Dodgers eventually went to the World Series and lost to the Boston Red Sox. Despite, playing in a total of 16 postseason games, the storyline was not Machado’s play but rather what came out of his mouth in an interview with Ken Rosenthal that aired on Fox Sports. Machado sparked outrage among fans and team front offices stating, “I’m no the type of player that’s going to be Johnny Hustle,” in regards him sluggishly running to first base.

Did those comments hurt Machado’s stock? Absolutely. What team wants a player that won’t hustle? None! And Machado really dug himself into a hole afterwards. It seemed that teams truly didn’t want him after those comments, and people didn’t blame them.

When the 2018 season ended, fans and teams thought Machado would immediately sign with the New York Yankees. After the new year, Machado still remained unsigned. The Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies seemed to have good conversations with Machado, however the deal never got done.

For weeks the baseball world went silent trying to figure out what exactly was going on. When the news dropped about his signing with San Diego, it left fans in shock. Fans weren’t the only ones in shock as front office executives such as Kenny Williams, the long-time general manager of the White Sox who said he was,”very surprised.”

Machado left fans waiting for a decision that was anticlimactic. No one expected him to go to San Diego, and no one expected San Diego to match his desired price. Was it a good move? It’s too early to tell. It could be a great move, the Padres have a great starting lineup, however their rotation is flat. Although they have tons of prospects lined up, Machado signing with the Padres isn’t bad for baseball. It’s bad for Machado. And it really shows his true colors, that he wasn’t made for the spotlights of big market clubs like New York or Los Angeles.

This move could also wind up like the Miami Marlins signing Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $320 million deal, only to trade him three years later, falling dramatically short of the outcome they expected.

What this did to the free agent market is disastrous. There are still key free agents that are unsigned. Most notably; all-star caliber players such as Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel. Players around the league expressed their emotions on free agency this offseason.

The Yankees were smart to stay away from Machado. He would have been nice to have on the left side of the infield, but a 10-year, $300 million deal is just too much money and too long. What if he gets hurt? Or what if the Yankees go without a World Series championship? There was so many ‘what ifs’ that played a factor in the Machado saga. In turn, the Yankees played it safe and secured pitching.

Machado will still be a great player, however his career won’t mean anything unless the Padres win a World Series. What he really did was make himself extremely wealthy, yet irrelevant.