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After all that http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-lenny-dykstra-jersey , Manny Machadowill be paid handsomely to live in a beautiful city and play for a team that isn’t far off from being a National League powerhouse.As ESPN’s Jeff Passanfirst reported, Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, it’s for 10 years and $300 million. It also has an opt-out after the fifth year, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.It’s not a done deal yet. This is straight from Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, per Dennis Lin of The Athletic:Dennis Lin dennistlinPadres executive chairman Ron Fowler: 鈥淲e do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions.鈥漈his doesn’t mean therewon’t be a deal, however. With the terms in place, it should become official as soon as the fine print is ironed out and Machado passes a physical.In the meantime, there’s plenty about this contract worth celebrating.For Machado, it’s simple: The 26-year-old is the owner of the largest free-agent contract in Major League Baseball history. Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million extension is still the largest contract, period, but Machado’s deal tops Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million deal from 2007 as the most lucrative found on the open market.Machado’s fellow players must be feeling relief. Some of MLB’s biggest names鈥攊ncluding Mike Trout, Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright and Evan Longoria鈥攈ave publicly taken issue with teams’ growing indifference toward free agency. Machado’s megadeal doesn’t mean everything’s fixed, but it should quell some of the unrest. Bryce Harper’s inevitable megadeal will quell it further.As large as Machado’s contract is, it’s no overpay. Initial projections for his free-agent pact tended to be around $300 million. The folks at MLB Trade Rumors even went as high as $390 million.Machado’s youth was one element of these equations. The other, of course, was the reality that he’s an exceptional player.Jae C. Hong/Associated PressHe was generally regarded as a top-10 prospect going into the 2012 season, and he was still only 20 years old when he debuted with the Baltimore Orioles on August 9 of that year. He was a difference-maker in their postseason push right away, and he was an All-Star and Gold Glover at third base the next season.Left knee surgery in October 2013 andright knee surgery in August 2014 temporarily sidetracked his rise. But he’s been healthy enough since then to average 159 games per season. Per Baseball Reference Gary Carter Jersey , he’s also been good enough to rank fifth among infielders in wins above replacement:1.Jose Altuve: 26.0 WAR2.Nolan Arenado: 25.3 WAR3.Paul Goldschmidt: 24.6 WAR4.Francisco Lindor: 23.9 WAR5.Manny Machado: 23.2 WARMachado’s bat has been the driving force behind his superstardom. He’s averaged an .856 OPS and 36 home runs per year since 2015, with a peak of a .905 OPS and 37 homers last season.What’s more, his offensive profile is evolving as well as he, the Padres or anyone could hope. Over time, his strikeout rate has decreased while his walk percentage and isolated power haveincreased:Defensively, the early returns on Machado’s move back to his native shortstop in 2018 weren’t great. But his metrics did improve after the Orioles traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgerson July 1, which raises the possibility that Machado’s skills weren’t the problem.In any case, his more likely long-term home is third base. He has two Gold Gloves and 84 career defensive runs saved to vouch for his ability to play the hot corner well enough to earn his keep.That brings us to a moment of obligatory handwringing over Machado’s occasional tendency to make a fool of himself, which was especially visible last October. But any notion that this somehow bars him from being a winning player isn’t supported by the evidence. He played in two postseasons with the Orioles, and his behavior didn’t keep the Dodgers from going to the World Series last year.To ensure that they also win with Machado, the Padres only need to put a good supporting cast around him.With a 96-loss 2018 fresh in their wake, that probably won’t happen right away. And theclub’s payrollwill be top-heavy in coming seasons. Assuming (for now) that Machado gets paid $30 million per year, the Padres will have north of $70 million tied up in him, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers through 2022. That’s a lot of money for a franchise with a peak Opening Day payroll of $108.4 million.But now for the great, big bright side that is San Diego’s No. 1 farm system.Andy Hayt/Getty ImagesIncluded within are Fernando Tatis Jr., who’s the best shortstop prospect in baseball, and Luis Urias, who’s arguably the best second base prospect. Both should line up alongside Machado at some point in 2019 and stay there for many years.Catcher Francisco Mejia, right-hander Chris Paddack and left-hander Logan Allen are also ready to make an impact on the 2019 Padres. The club also has a host of talented young outfielders鈥擣ranchy Cordero (24), Hunter Renfroe (27), Manuel Margot (24) and Franmil Reyes (23)鈥攖o choose from. In coming years Dwight Gooden Jersey , these guys (and more) will be cheap talent to counterbalance the expensive contracts.The Padres could certainly use a tried-and-true ace for a starting rotation that will lean young in coming years. As noted by JJ Cooper ofBaseball America, their wealth of young talent could bring one in via the trade market:JJ Cooper jjcoop36The Padres lineup is now so far ahead of the development curve of their pitching staff that I have to imagine well see some trades from the No. 1 farm system in the game to help the starting rotation.All told, where the Padres are now isn’t the same as where they were between 2014 and 2015.During that period, general manager A.J. Preller tried to build a contender overnight by sacrificing both financial (the James Shields signing) and player (trades for Myers, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Craig Kimbrel) capital. Doing so proved to be reckless.This time, the Padres are following a formula laid down by the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. Both clubs slowly but surely built unstoppable rosters fueled by both youthful and veteran talent, and each was rewarded with a World Series championship.If everything comes together around Machado the way it should, the Padres could push for the postseason as early as 2020. After that, there could be little to stop them from becoming a World Series contender.Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs. Contract and payroll data courtesy of Roster Resource and Cot’s Baseball Contracts. DENVER (AP) — The 38-year-old All-Star outfielder sauntered into the Colorado clubhouse at Coors Field and instantly felt like a rookie again.Matt Holliday was back at home.The Rockies selected the contract of Holliday from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday after he signed a minor league deal last month.A seventh-round pick in 1998 by Colorado, Holliday played the first five seasons of his 14-year career with the Rockies, hitting .290 as a rookie in 2004 and helping lead Colorado to its only World Series appearance in 2007.He’s hoping to reprise a similar role this season with a Rockies team in the thick of the playoff chase.“Honestly, it felt sort of normal (being back), but at the same time pretty nostalgic a little bit — just thinking back 15 years ago, when I did that for the first time,” said Holliday, who was in left field and batting fifth against San Diego on Thursday. “It was kind of that kid at Christmas (feeling) last night. Had a hard time sleeping.”Teammate Chris Iannetta made him feel his age, reminding Holliday he was now the oldest player on the roster. He took that honor from the 35-year-old Iannetta, who was Holliday’s teammate in 2007.“I appreciate that. I’ll take it as a compliment,” said Holliday, who won a World Series title with St. Louis in 2011. The Cardinals arrive in town this weekend. “Fifteen years later Keith Hernandez Jersey , I’m still good enough that people want me here. I hope I can go out and contribute.”Holliday hasn’t played in the majors since last season with the New York Yankees, when he batted .231 with 19 homers.No matter to Nolan Arenado.“We got better today,” the Gold Glove third baseman said. “He’s still a good player. He still knows how to hit. He didn’t lose that.“He’s always a fundamental player, a fundamental hitter. You don’t lose that.”Trailing Holliday on Thursday were his sons 14-year-old Jackson and 11-year-old Ethan. They played pingpong in a back room while Holliday prepared for the game. The last time Holliday was in a Rockies uniform — the Rockies traded him to Oakland after the 2008 season — a young Jackson would frequently take batting practice in the middle of the clubhouse.“You all better watch out if I pitch to him in the locker room. You all might get hurt,” Holliday cracked. “He’s a really good player. You all better pay attention after the game.”It didn’t take Holliday long to get into the swing of things again. He batted .346 with three home runs and 14 RBIs for the Triple-A Isotopes.But he went into this adventure with muted expectations.“I didn’t know what to expect, how I would feel,” Holliday said. “The one thing I do have is experience. I’ve seen thousands of pitches and faced tons of pitching over my career.”As for his role, manager Bud Black said he will “see how it goes.”“If he’s not starting, he’ll be available to pinch-hit,” Black said. “There’s a dangerous bat there late in the game with some power.”The one lingering question was this: Did Holliday actually touch home plate in Game No. 163 in 2007? Holliday tagged from third in the 13th inning against San Diego and dove in headfirst for the winning run, a victory in the NL wild-card tiebreaker that vaulted Colorado into the postseason. Whether Holliday touched home remains a contention with Black, who was the Padres’ manager then.Holliday joked that home plate umpire Tim McClelland shared some responsibility.“I didn’t call myself safe,” Holliday said. “It wasn’t my fault. I tell Buddy, ‘Take it out on Tim.’”Black doesn’t buy it.“He should be blamed. He missed home. You know what that is? That’s baseball,” Black lightheartedly said. “That one hurt. I still think about it.”Now, they’re united.And this version of the Rockies has impressed Holliday from afar.“In some ways it’s similar to 2007,” Holliday said. “It’s a lot of young guys and guys who came up together, sort of coming together at the right time. A good mix of veteran leadership and young players that are bringing a lot of energy and really trying to prove themselves and establish themselves as great major league players.“It’s a really talented team and a team that has a chance to do something special.”
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