Consider Manny Machado in Round 2 of 2023 drafts
Scott Pianowski and D.J. Short discuss Manny Machado's recent megadeal with the San Diego Padres and debate where they'd target the superstar third basemen in fantasy drafts this season.
DJ SHORT: Manny Machado signed a giant extension over the weekend. 11 years, $350 million. Of course, he originally signed that 10-year $300 million deal in 2019, was set to make $30 million annually through 2028, but had an opt out after the season, which he intended to use.
But the Padres were able to work out a new extension here. So Machado is signed through 2033, his age 41 season, no opt outs in this deal. Pretty cool to see San Diego do this kind of deal. And I think it throws cold water on the whole notion that small market teams can't compete.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I mean, if they can get Tatis healthy, we're looking at Tatis, Soto, Machado, are all like guys who could win an MVP in any season. I think Xander Bogaerts is a step down from that type of player, but obviously, they gave him a good contract and they expect him to be a plus player, which he should be. I mean, he could probably be an All-Star if they get anything out of Nelson Cruz, if they get anything out of Jake Cronenworth. Matt Carpenter was an interesting addition to this team.
I think it's important to note a couple of things. One, the Padres, even though they have a lot of power, they actually like to run. And so--
DJ SHORT: Yeah.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --I would think a lot of these guys, I know Soto didn't run at all actually when he joined the Padres last year, which was interesting. I think you just have to throw Juan Soto's year out. I mean, the tree was hanging over his head, then his life is uprooted in the middle of the season. Nothing that he did last year makes any sense with the rest of his career. He's still an easy first round pick for me.
You could argue, was Machado more interesting as a fantasy commodity when he was playing for his contract? Motivation is different for certain players. I could see somebody in a contract year maybe being stressed by it. I could see another player in a contract year maybe being motivated by it. A lot of times we're just never going to know if it affected the player or not.
Here's the bottom line. Manny Machado is in a loaded lineup. He's right in the middle of his career, where we may have not seen his best season yet. And Petco Park is no longer Death Valley for offense. It used to be one of the worst places to hit. They made some infrastructure changes. And now, it's almost like a neutral park now. And they have, just again, a loaded lineup, there's no more DH anymore, you're going to cycle through a lot more.
I cannot wait. I'm going to say, I'm an East Coast guy, even though Michigan should be on Central time, I'm Eastern Standard Time, I'm going to be staying up for a lot of these Padres, Dodgers games or Padres, Giants games, or when the Padres go to Colorado, heaven help the Colorado pitching staff.
DJ SHORT: Yes.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Because these guys, there's a lot of offenses I like. Your Mets have a great offense, the Cardinals have a deep offense. We've talked about Toronto, who has all this young talent and their defenses are coming in, they're getting raised, but they're also coming in. I think that's a net game for the offense. There's so many destination offenses, but man, San Diego has to be near the top of that list.
DJ SHORT: No doubt. So let's look at Machado here. So he has 1,597 career hits through 11 seasons. Still, let's see, going into his age 30 season here, 10 years on this deal, right? 11 years. I think Machado's might have the best chance of the current players in baseball to get to 3,000 hits. What do you think?
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah. It's just, I think it's just a matter of him staying healthy, because he's going to, you would think with modern travel, modern, the conditioning, the health and everything, there's no reason.
Like, I know when the guy signs a deal like this, people say, oh, well, what's the contract going to look like the end of it. Are they going to regret the Bogaerts deal? Are they going to regret the Machado deal? Look at what the Yankees were left holding the bag with like Alex Rodriguez at the end of his career or whatever.
But I think Manny Machado's game is going to age well. He's still a plus defender. He's still somebody who can be a five category contributor for fantasy. And also what will help him with the hits, is that he will take a walk, but he's not a heavy walk guy. He will walk maybe 60 times in a season or something like that.
So when you draft Manny Machado, you're thinking like 180 hits, something like that is a regular turnout for him. The 300-win pitcher might be a dead, I don't know when we're going to see another one of those guys. But I think Manny Machado is going to get 3,000 hits. I also think Juan Soto is going to get 3,000 hits. It's really early to start projecting where he's going to go, because he's really in the first lap of his career.
But man, I grew up with so many popular teams that couldn't hit, that had like, you had to worry about one or two guys, and then like the rest of the lineup had dead spots. And then of course, the pitcher spot would come up.
And so every Monday I'd be on the RotoWire To Start page. I'd be like, OK, I got some San Diego guys, can I get some Petco guys. And that's just out the window now, because these guys are going to pile up the runs. And I'm with you. And I still think like the 3,000 hits is a cool thing.
It's a pretty exclusive club for the most part, if nothing tarnishes your career off the field, you'll make the Hall of Fame. And a lot of guys in this team on a Hall of Fame trajectory. Manny Machado, I would think what, probably around the turn, or does he securely in the first round for you? Where are we going to draft him?
DJ SHORT: Machado for me is probably in the middle of the second round. He's in that glut of third basemen with Austin Riley, Rafael Devers, Bobby Witt Jr., right in that mix. I think they're all going to come off the board in the second round. Witt might go in the first round, but I'm probably not going to touch it personally.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: You know, I'm glad you mentioned him. I was talking a little bit on Twitter about Witt. And whenever, and I know he wasn't on our rundown today, but let's just quickly mention this. When a player's ADP reflects priced-in improvement, like a significant amount of price, he was good last year.
And look, he had a lot of swing and misses. His game, he came up at such a tender age. You know, he's obviously, his father was a Major League player. He's got a pedigree. He was the top hitting prospect in baseball. He's good. And he's got a chance to be great. But you're drafting him with the expectation that he's great right now.
And that Kansas City offense is like four deep. They're not, there's no buoyancy there. The bottom of that lineup, I can't, I see Witt going in the first round. That's just not going to be the way I draft. And if somebody drafts him in the first round and he does take that expected step forward, I mean, I'm talking like three or four level steps, not like just gets a little bit better, but he like has like in MVP contention season, fine. You beat me with Bobby Witt. But I'm not going to draft that way.