A new team has emerged for Manny Machado, and the Phillies could be in trouble because of it.
The Phillies and White Sox have been thought of as the only two teams aggressively pushing to sign Manny Machado, with the Yankees sitting on the sideline waiting just in case.
Now the Phillies have a new competitor in the Machado sweepstakes who could throw a wrench into their offseason plans: the Padres.
Dennis Lin, who covers the Padres for The Athletic, reported Saturday afternoon that the Padres have expressed interest in meeting Machado in his hometown of Miami.
San Diego is an interesting player this offseason when it comes to Matt Klentak’s plans. Should Machado sign with the Phillies it’s been reported the Padres would once again inquire on Maikel Franco. Should the White Sox sign Machado, the Phils and Padres could be competing to sign Mike Moustakas.
Now that the Padres are reportedly in on Machado, and possibly have been the mystery team many pointed towards, the price tag for the dynamic infielder could be on the rise.
Philadelphia has virtually pledged to not be outbid for a free agent, at least in terms of dollars. They weren’t willing to go an extra year for either Patrick Corbin or J.A. Happ, but the money was reportedly in step with what the Nationals and Yankees offered, whether it be total dollars or average annual value.
Machado’s camp has to love that a new team is in the race regardless of what you think of the Padres. They’re an organization that hasn’t won more than 80 games since 2010 or a playoff series since 1998 when they were swept in the World Series by the Yankees.
San Diego does have the southern California appeal and the prospects to entice a player to sign long-term. The Padres have nine prospects on the Baseball America top-100 prospect list (subscription required), more than any other team in baseball, and four of the top-50.
Many of those prospects, including BA’s number two prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. are knocking on the doorsteps of the big leagues.
San Diego was also able to convince Eric Hosmer to sign a long-term deal last offseason and picked up Garrett Richards this year.
While the Padres apparent interest in Machado doesn’t kill the Philadelphia’s chances of signing him, it potentially ups the price tag and drags this free agent fiasco on longer than many predicted.