With just over a month remaining until Opening Day, MLB superstar Manny Machado has finally found a new home.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the highly coveted Machado inked an MLB-record 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres.
This contract overtook Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million contract with the Yankees in 2008 as the largest free agent contract in MLB history.
The signing shocked the MLB world, as nobody even knew the Padres were interested in signing Machado.
The Padres, who haven’t been relevant in the last 20 years, finished last season with a bottom-five record in the league at 66-96, 25 games out of the playoffs.
Being so uncompetitive, many people asked, “Why would Machado sign with such a bad team?”
The answer is very simple – potential.
The Padres may have the brightest future of any team in the MLB.
They are one of the youngest and most up-and-coming teams in the majors.
San Diego has the best ranked farm system in the entire MLB, as well as the second-ranked prospect in all of baseball – Fernando Tatis Jr.
Tatis is just 20 years old and can already do everything on a baseball field.
On top of all this, San Diego already has a young, established star that they signed in free agency last year – Eric Hosmer.
Hosmer is considered by many to be one of the best first basemen in the MLB and is also one of the best leaders in the sport.
Machado and Hosmer will be a scary duo for opposing pitchers to face in the future.
So, while the Padres probably won’t be very competitive this season, their future is extremely bright.
The Padres need to take advantage of this season and get all their highly touted prospects extensive experience this year.
If San Diego develops their players correctly, there is no reason that the Padres cannot be a powerhouse in the MLB within the next five seasons.
The Machado signing will give the Padres a key advantage in the development of their farm system.
Machado is one of the best players in the league, and he will be a key factor in the prospects’ development.
The star infielder needs to step up like he never has before and be a leader in San Diego’s clubhouse and show the Padres’ youngsters how to be professional baseball players.
If Machado is up to the task, then the sky is the limit for the Padres and a World Series title in the near future is not far-fetched at all.
Machado needs to be commended for his decision to sign with San Diego.
In an era when many superstars are just concerned with winning titles, Machado actually chose to go to a small-market team and help rebuild a struggling franchise.
Sure, Machado could have taken the easy way out and signed with the Phillies or the Yankees, both superteams, but he opted for the high road instead.
Professional sports needs more people like Machado, who don’t give into the immense pressure the media puts on them to win titles and join these superteams.