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Heyman | Could Padres be surprise entrant in Machado derby?

Jon Heyman



Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are a surprise entry in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, sources tell FRS Baseball.

San Diego would seem to be a long shot; they wouldn’t seem to be a likely playoff team, Machado is a free agent after the year and the Padres would seem to have no hope of signing him up long-term. However, the Padres have surprised before, signing Eric Hosmer to the biggest free-agent contract of the winter, and a couple years back making bold moves for Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel and Matt Kemp.

A Padres person characterized their contact as “due diligence” and downplayed the possibility. It’s hard to completely discount them, though, since they have a great list of prospects and a willingness to take a chance.

The Padres are somewhat of a surprise to be anywhere near contention, but even after losing four straight games they are only eight games out of first place in the tightly-packed NL West. Even so, most continue to view them as likely sellers, and most of the speculation surrounding San Diego has been about their star reliever Brad Hand,

Many others teams would still seem more logical, including the Phillies, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Indians, Cubs and division-rival Dodgers. And perhaps San Diego is mostly monitoring the situation.

While the Padres have pulled some surprises, there’s no way to think they could sign someone like Machado long-term. They basically doubled their record contract when they signed Eric Hosmer to a $144 million, eight-year deal in the winter. To think they could double that to keep Machado would seem to be folly; they certainly don’t have the revenues to support that.

They also have a great young shortstop prospect in Fernando Tatis Jr., and Machado has made clear he wants to sign long-term as a shortstop (though if he’s traded, he’d have to play third base if the acquiring team has no spot for him at shortstop.)

In any case, the Padres certainly are a welcome addition to the derby, as they have one of the top five prospect lists, and by some accounts, the top one. And they certainly have the pieces to get something done.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.

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