- The San Diego Padres’ World Series odds improved dramatically after signing Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal.
- The 26-year-old Machado posted career highs in home runs and RBIs last season with the Orioles and Dodgers.
- Machado joins a San Diego club short on experience and long on potential.
So much for Major League Baseball’s free agent model being broken.
The Padres backed up the Brink’s trucks on Tuesday morning to sign infielder Manny Machado to a lucrative 10-year, $300 million deal. The contract is the biggest free-agent signing in American sports history, and not surprisingly, it’s resulted in plenty of strongly-worded tweets.
Manny Machado = $300 million
One .300 season
One 100+ RBI season
One top-10 WAR season
Never hit 40 homers
Never stolen more than 20 bases
Good luck, San Diego!
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) February 19, 2019
— Kof (@KofSports) February 19, 2019
So, what exactly does $300 million buy you these days? For starters, it gets you much better World Series odds.
Within hours of inking Machado, the Padres saw their average odds to win the 2019 World Series improve from +9300 to +4300 across a number of top online sportsbooks. San Diego still isn’t in most oddsmakers’ top 10, but that could change once the seasons begins.
2019 World Series Odds
|Team||Odds to Win the 2019 World Series at BetOnline|
|New York Yankees||+600|
|Boston Red Sox||+600|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+800|
*Odds taken on 02/20/19
The Padres Got Their Man
The small-market Padres were considered an extreme longshot to land Machado as recently as two weeks ago before securing a sit-down with the 26-year-old and his representatives in Miami. At the time, many believed Machado was only using the meeting as leverage to secure a bigger deal elsewhere, but he must have liked what he heard from General manager AJ Preller, because he turned down an even bigger offer from the Chicago White Sox that could have been worth up to $340 million with incentives.
In Machado, the Padres are getting a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner who still has yet to hit his prime. That’s a scary thought considering just how dominant he was in 2018, when Machado hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs with the Orioles and Dodgers.
The Florida native has now mashed 30 or more homers in each of the last four seasons and has finished in the top 10 in Offensive WAR three times since 2015.
Manny Machado Career Statistics
Machado will slot in at third and will join a promising infield featuring four-time Gold Glover Eric Hosmer at first, four-time All-Star Ian Kinsler at second, and top prospect Luis Urias at short.
Padres Still Aren’t Ready to Contend
Signing Machado is a step in the right direction for the Padres, but the club still has far to go before contending for a World Series title. San Diego hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2006 and hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.
The Padres lost 96 games in 2018 and finished the year dead last in onbase percentage and ranked 28th in runs, total bases, batting average, and OPS. Machado will certainly help goose San Diego’s production, but he can’t do it all alone.
— Blaine McCormick (@blaine_mc8) February 20, 2019
The good news in Southern California is that the Padres have one of the best farm systems in baseball with certifiable studs like shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., catcher Francisco Mejia, and outfielder Tirso Ornelas in the pipeline. Help is on the way, but it might take a year or two for San Diego’s prospects to come of age.
Put Your Bucks on Boston
The Padres threw a lot of moolah at Machado, but you might want to think twice before putting your own money on San Diego. Give this club a year or two to mature and wager instead on a proven winner like the Red Sox.
Boston won a franchise record 108 games in 2018 and easily dispatched a pair of 100-game winners in the Yankees and Astros en route to their fourth World Series title since 2004. The Sox will be tested in 2019, but they have the experience, talent, and pedigree to win back-to-back World Series titles.