ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 07: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres reacts as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two of the National League Division Series at Globe Life Field on October 07, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The San Diego Padres were looking to make a splash after the 2018 season. While they had signed Eric Hosmer during the previous offseason, and signed Wil Myers to an extension, they still needed to add that superstar to change the direction of the franchise. That happened when the Padres emerged as the surprising landing spot for Manny Machado, handing him a ten year deal worth $300 million.
Since landing Machado exactly two years ago, the Padres have changed their narrative. Instead of being a smaller market team, they have emerged as a powerhouse, looking to add as much talent as possible.
Machado did not just change the Padres’ when it came to being more aggressive on the trade or free agent fronts. He lobbied for Fernando Tatis Jr. to be a part of the team on Opening Day in 2019, seeing that the future face of the franchise did not need any more time in the minors. The front office agreed, with Tatis getting a place on the roster.
Last season, the Padres reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The franchise had its first winning season in a decade, last finishing over .500 in 2010. But just reaching the postseason was not enough – San Diego wanted far more.
As such, the Padres have completely overhauled their roster. Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove were brought in to revamp their rotation. San Diego has continued to stockpile relievers as they have entered a literal arms race with the Dodgers in their quest to take over the NL West.
This transformation had to start somewhere. The addition of Hosmer, as surprising as it may have been, was not going to be enough to turn the Padres into a larger market team. They needed to bring a bona fide superstar on board to do that, which happened when they signed Machado to that ten year deal.
Manny Machado began the transformation of the San Diego Padres. Without him, the franchise would not be what it is today.