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The San Diego Padres have assembled some of baseball’s most dangerous offensive talent for 2023.
They made the biggest splash at the trading deadline last season, and then added Xander Bogaerts in free agency.
When Fernando Tatis Jr. returns from his suspension early in the year, they can put together quite the enviable lineup.
Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Tatis, the aforementioned Bogaerts, along with Jake Cronenworth, Ha-Seong Kim and the resurgent Matt Carpenter.
Comments by team ownership even led to speculation that the Padres were operating on a nearly limitless budget.
READ: SAN DIEGO PADRES APPARENTLY HAVE UNLIMITED MONEY
But a new report from The Athletic’s Dennis Lin throws some cold water on the on the unchecked optimism in San Diego.
According to Lin, the Padres are pessimistic on their chances of retaining Soto when he hits free agency, and expect Machado to opt out of the remainder of his contract.
Padres to Lose Stars?
Soto isn’t a free agent until after the 2024 season, but Machado will be able to opt out of the remainder of his 10-year, $300 million contract after 2023.
Considering Machado’s outstanding 2022, unless he’s injured or his production collapses, it’s a near certainty he’ll exercise his opt out.
Lin does say the Padres are hoping to try and negotiate an extension with Machado before next fall. But given the free agency bidding frenzy of the 2022-23 offseason, Machado may prefer to wait and test the market.
The Mets, for example, could be huge bidders once again after the Correa deal fell apart.
Soto is a Scott Boras client, which of course generally leads to free agency. Soto will also still be incredibly young by free agency standards after the 2024 season.
While most players don’t reach the open market until they’re around 30, Soto will be just entering his age 26 season.
Given that he’s never posted an on base percentage less than .400, he’ll undoubtedly draw massive interest.
The Padres may enter 2023 as the favorites to win the NL West and even the NL pennant. But the bill for loading up on talent may come due sooner rather than later in San Diego.
Enjoy the Soto, Machado, Tatis era while it lasts, Padres fans.
One CommentLeave a Reply
Can we at least make it through spring Training before starting something that may happen 2 years from now