Texas Rangers: Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training this week
The big news Tuesday in baseball was taking place about 10 miles to the east of the Surprise Recreation Campus, in Peoria, where the San Diego Padres make their spring home.
According to reports, that’s where mega free agent Manny Machado will be making his spring home for the next five to 10 years.
The prospect-rich Padres and Machado have agreed to a 10-year contract worth $300 million, though Machado can opt out after five years. The shortstop still must pass a physical, but that seems to be a formality.
It appears that if Padres general manager A.J. Preller is going to go down, the former Texas Rangers assistant GM is going down swinging.
News of the deal slowly trickled out to the backfields while the Rangers were working out, and players were wowed by the size of the contract but also pleased with it. In a second straight difficult market, the players needed a win and will likely get another once outfielder Bryce Harper, another mega free agent, signs.
“That’s a great thing,” outfielder Joey Gallo said. “That’s big for baseball. That’s big for the players.”
The Rangers, meanwhile, held to their word and never became involved on Machado, an elite player who is entering his prime years, even as he lingered on the market. GM Jon Daniels said that he spoke with Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, but only because Lozano represents Willie Calhoun and Matt Davidson.
Daniels would check to see if Machado’s market had dropped, and it hadn’t. That would have been the only way the Rangers would have been involved, and that appears to be their tack with Harper.
The Rangers like both players, obviously. The general thinking is that Machado will be less risky from a durability standpoint going forward, but Harper is the better competitor and team guy.
Machado would have filled a major Rangers need in 2019 and long-term after the retirement of third baseman Adrian Beltre. They signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year deal to play third this season, and could be interested in signing Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado to be the on-field showpiece next season when their showplace ballpark, Globe Life Field, is scheduled to open.
The Rangers need a third baseman, with the farm system lacking one. Anderson Tejada, considered by many as one of the top prospects in the system, plays shortstop but he could develop into a third baseman.