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The Dark Horse In The Race for Machado and Harper

They’re not known for coming from behind… But this team could win it all in the ninth inning.

PetCo Park by Nan Palmero is licensed under CC 2.0

The Dark Horse In The Race for Machado and Harper


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Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

What if I told you there was a team, so out of contention, so deep in their rebuild, so lost in their long term plan for dominance that they could land the top two free agents in the game?

Would you believe me?

What if I told you there is a team primed to be solid for years to come? A team that not long ago, released a team calendar with more 9 of the 12 months featuring players no longer on the team?

That’s right. The San Diego Padres could sign both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado for the 10/300 million contracts they want. And after the ink is dry, the Padres still have room for more.

The Padres currently projected to have an Opening Day payroll of $115 million, as projected by MLB Trade Rumors, but are currently sitting at $86.7 million as of publication. So let’s say they add $60 million to their payroll, they still wouldn’t be the highest paying team in the NL West. That’s one of the benefits of being in a division with the Dodgers.

And after this year, the Padres will be dropping almost $20 million dollars in dead payroll, freeing up money to pay for two studs.

Sure, it’s a gamble for the Padres, but if they are truly attempting to rebuild for the future, they can fast track their success with both players.

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is one hell of a lineup.

A lot of pundits and fans have been asking the “Who would sign a player to a ten-year contract?”, and I think that’s a very valid question. However, on the flip side of that question is, “What does a player want in a 10-year deal besides money?”

Perhaps a team that’s close to winning, with a solid foundation built around young, homegrown players? One that plays in a city that’s ready to fully embrace the only major professional sports team to play for them?

That’s the San Diego Padres.

The Padres are a young team, with their average age of
26.9 coming in as the third lowest in the league. With Joey LucchesiEric Lauer and Luis Perdomo all still in the early to mid-twenties, the Padres pitching staff alone looks to be solid for years. Add Mackenzie Gore, Chris Paddock, and Adrian Morejon waiting in the wings, that rotation seems immortal.

Will that impact be felt in 2019? Probably not. However, this is a great time to be a rebuilding team in the NL West. With the Diamondbacks starting over, the Giants wasting money, the Dodgers desperately trying to win a World Series, and the Rockies just trying to continue winning, the Padres are in a perfect spot to wait for their prospects to develop.

With a farm system like that, a long term contract would mean playing with solid, young ballplayers, creating a cohesive team dynamic for years to come. And if you’re Harper or Machado, it means being the centerpiece to a franchise on the rise.

It’s only a matter of time before the fireworks really begin at PetCo Park. And Harper and Machado could be the reason to light them off.

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