Manny Machado’s new teammates are going to get used to him making the impossible look routine.
During Friday’s game between the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, Carson Kelly hit a ball down the third base line that forced Machado to range to his right and into foul territory. Machado fielded the ball and almost nonchalantly flipped it to first base, showing off his incredible arm strength and accuracy.
The reactions by pitcher Adam Warren and first baseman Hosmer were priceless.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 13, 2019
Machado has made plays similar to this one in the past, but seeing them never gets old. It hasn’t for baseball fans and won’t any time soon for Machado’s new teammates.
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Manny Machado has his first San Diego Padre home run.
The marquee free agent signing had had a quiet start to the season offensively, but he broke out of it with a two-run home run in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game that went directly to the Western Metal Supply Building.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 3, 2019
The Padres will be expecting to see a lot more of those. This is, after all, a player who averages 30 home runs a year over a 162 game season. Yes, Petco Park is nowhere near as hitter-friendly as his old stomping grounds in Baltimore, but he still has immense power.
Machado has the home run out of the way. The next step will be building a team that Machado thinks can actually contend.
- Manny Machado
Mike Trout chose to forego free agency once again by signing a long-term extension with the Los Angels Angels two years before his previous deal expired, and the star outfielder says what happened with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado was part of the reason he wanted to go that route.
Trout spoke with reporters on Sunday about his record $430 million contract, and he said he informed the Angels he either wanted to sign a new deal now or was going to test free agency following the 2020 season. However, he preferred to lock in an extension and viewed the “tough couple months” for Harper and Machado as a “red flag.”
Mike Trout: "If we hadn’t gotten a deal done it would have been tough for me. I obviously wanted to be here. I said I want to deal with it now. If not i’m gong to explore free agency. I didn’t want to go through the next few seasons thinking ‘Am I going to get a deal or not?’"
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 24, 2019
Mike Trout: "I kind of saw what Bryce and Manny went through and it drew a red flag for me. I talked to Manny and Bryce. It was a tough couple months in the offseason. They put it perspective in my mind. I obviously want to be an Angel for life. That was a big key."
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 24, 2019
Trout added that he would not have felt right moving to another team in two years to chase a championship. Some have wondered why he committed to the Angels despite reaching the playoffs just once in his eight seasons, but Trout said “teams go through ups and downs” and he prefers to ride that out.
No one is going to weep for Machado and Harper after they got $300 million and $330 million, respectively, and even Harper said he is pleased with the way things unfolded. Given what Trout has said about his commitment to the Angels, it’s clear his contract situation could not have worked out more perfectly.
San Diego Padres fans can’t expect Manny Machado to immediately turn them from a 66-win team into the NL West division champions, but they might want him to at least pretend the possibility exists.
In a recent interview during spring training, Machado admitted the Padres have little chance of winning the NL West and are already thinking about the wild card.
Manny Machado has a really interesting take on how his new team is going to do this upcoming season. pic.twitter.com/QV4qnHYnNA
— Dodgers-LowDown (@DodgersLowDown) March 10, 2019
“We’re gonna try to win, maybe not the division, but we’re gonna go out there and try to fight for a wild card spot and you never know what can happen in baseball,” Machado said.
While Machado was simply trying to be realistic and temper expectations, Padres fans might not want to hear that. Their team just gave Machado a $300 million contract, and most players who sign deals like that talk about helping their new team win a championship.
Of course, this is the same Machado who made some questionable comments last season about hustling. His reputation took quite a hit around that time, so people are going to criticize him any chance they get.
H/T Barstool Sports
The San Diego Padres are already seeing dividends from their signing of Manny Machado.
According to the Padres’ president of business operations Erik Greupner, the two weeks since Machado’s signing have seen the team generate $3 million in additional ticket revenue, and they have sold “at least double” the amount of tickets they would typically expect to sell, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.
The Padres had jumps prior to 2015 and 2016, when the team had a busy offseason and hosted the All-Star Game, respectively, but never like this.
“Even in 2015 and 2016, we didn’t see a spike like we’ve seen this year in terms of demand,” Greupner said. “And frankly, it’s been maintained for a longer period of time so far than some of the spikes we’ve seen in the past. So, we’re encouraged that it’s really setting a new trend line for us this season in terms of demand for tickets and merchandise.”
Bryce Harper has had a similar impact on the Philadelphia Phillies’ ticket sales. It’s safe to say the big free agents are already having the intended off-field impact.
San Diego Padres fans aren’t the only ones happy to know Manny Machado will be wearing a Padres uniform for the foreseeable future.
Machado signing a massive 10-year contract with the Padres was met with joy in southern California. American League pitchers that faced Machado on a regular basis were likely pleased as well that he will now be moving to the National League. Included in that group is Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 23, 2019
One look at Machado’s career numbers versus Bauer and it’s easy to understand why Bauer would be ecstatic to face Machado fewer times. In 18 plate appearances, Machado is hitting .643/.722/1.643 with nine hits, two doubles, four home runs, and four walks against Bauer. I’d be happy if someone who had the much success against me was switching leagues too.
The San Diego Padres have yet to officially announce the Manny Machado signing yet, as the player still has to complete one more physical. As long as that’s true, however, he still isn’t technically a Padres player.
That didn’t stop the official team store from putting his jersey on sale a little too soon.
One fan spotted a rack of Machado jerseys at the team store at Petco Park despite the fact that Machado has yet to be announced as a San Diego player.
— joelgendelman (@joelgendelman) February 20, 2019
According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the store is run by an independent vendor, whom the Padres contacted and told to take the jerseys off the racks. It is unclear if anyone managed to buy one before the mistake could be corrected.
We know excitement is high in San Diego with Machado coming to town, but processes have to be followed here. Machado will likely be announced by Friday, and there will be no shortage of jerseys for eager fans.