Spring training is essentially upon us and some of the biggest names on the free agent market. The two biggest names are without question Manny Machado and Bryce Harper since both players were expected to sign big nine figure paydays in the lead up to this offseason.
We still know little about the potential fate of Bryce with the Phillies being the most public in their interest and the Nationals continuing to be a possibility. With Machado, the White Sox have done everything they can to try and lure him to the Windy City including signing family and friends to their roster. The Giants have been late entrants into the Harper derby as well, although the Giants may prefer to undertake a more complete rebuild.
However, it looks like another team is seemingly throwing their hat in the ring for Machado.
The fit between the Padres and Machado is, at first glance, a weird one. They already have Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr. that are close to the majors and while Machado is a big time talent, it would seem to be a puzzling use of resources when there seem to be in-house options that will be along soon. There is also the problem that while the Padres have a legitimately great farm system, they may be a couple of years away from contention and whether Manny would want to wait for that is questionable.
However, the fact remains that free agents like Machado don’t come around very often and this could easily be the Padres doing their due diligence and understanding that sometimes you have to make a play when this type of talent is potentially on the table. As Rosenthal’s report states, such a deal isn’t on the verge of happening, but at least we are starting to see some more potential destinations coming into focus.