The San Diego Padres have to get used to the idea that their third baseman, Manny Machado, should become a free agent in a year.
Why? Because the star has an exit option after the fifth year of his 10-year contract. And with free agent prices on the rise, he’ll want to try his luck.
Does that mean he’s going to leave the Padres? Not necessarily.
After all, he is good in San Diego and he could very well sign at a high price with his team of recent years, a question of adding years to his agreement. That’s my prediction: another 10-year, $300 million contract in San Diego.
But you and I know that by the time a free agent hits the market, anything can happen. And whether or not he is important for his club, if another team sings the apple to him, anything can happen…
And that’s where the Mets can come in. Why? Because the club was ready to put $315 million on a third baseman last month…before the doctors decided otherwise.
We know the Mets will have a lot of money to spend and the desire to improve is there. It’s crystal clear.
A speedboat will eventually land in town. That, we know. It feels.
Plan #1 would probably be to trust Shohei Ohtani. Many clubs will be on his case in a year, but the Mets and Dodgers may be ready to put $500 million on the table.
However, we feel a certain reluctance on the part of the Japanese launcher at the idea of landing in the Big Apple. That’s why Machado’s name could be back in rumors as the Mets’ « plan B. »
Machado once played for Buck Showalter in Baltimore and so a bond of trust exists. Eduardo Escobar will be free in a year. Machado would move closer to his native Florida. The club have money and they clearly want to win.
There are several good reasons to believe it.
And since the next class of free agents won’t be as exciting as this year’s, the Mets could be aggressive on Machado…if he really intends to look anywhere other than San Diego.
I’m not saying it’s absolutely going to happen. What I’m saying is the Padres need to beware of Steve Cohen.