As first reported on by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune and later confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller, general partner Peter Seidler, and manager Andy Green traveled to Miami last week to meet with free-agent superstar infielder, Manny Machado.
Acee lists the 26-year-old Machado as “the team’s first choice to fill its immediate vacancy at third base” left by the jettisoning of Christian Villanueva and the team’s shifting of Wil Myers back into the outfield exclusively.
Machado split last season between his only other MLB employer, the Baltimore Orioles, and the eventual National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers, to whom he was traded midseason, hitting .297/.367/.538 with 37 homers, 107 runs batted in, 35 doubles, a 14.7 percent strikeout rate, .377 weighted on-base average, 141 weighted runs created plus rating, and 6.2 fWAR while playing in all 162 games (709 plate appearances).
Over his seven-year major league career, the Miami native owns a .282/.335/.487 slash line with 175 homers, 513 RBI, 211 doubles, a .349 wOBA, 120 wRC+ rating, and 30.2 wins above replacement (FanGraphs).
Machado has been heavily linked to the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason, with the New York Yankees assuredly still lurking in the weeds.
Acee notes “it is not believed Machado is close to settling on his next team”, but one must believe that this process will be expedited as Opening Day draws closer. We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.