HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I needed this weekend wrapup more than usual because I’ve really been out of baseball circulation the past couple of days. My folks took my kids out to the lake on Saturday, so Mrs. Shyster and I had a nice lunch, took in a movie, did a little aimless wandering and then had a nice dinner. Yesterday we had my boy’s fifth birthday party. Over both days I was on an Internet detox regimen that, while not a total blackout, was about as unplugged as I ever get. When you spend as much time in front of a screen as I do you just gotta do that sometimes.

The upshot: I didn’t watch an inning of baseball all weekend, and really didn’t pay attention to what the hell was going on. Thank goodness, then, for D.J. and Drew who documented that which needed to be documented and allowed me to catch up quite nicely this morning. The highlights:

  • Nick Swisher hit a walkoff single on the night the Yankees paid tribute to The Boss. I’m glad this event managed to bring some attention to Steinbrenner’s passing, because I was worried that people were completely missing it.
  • I’m sure a bunch of people heard about Yogi Berra falling down and thought “Oh noes! These things come in threes!”  I had breakfast with my personal mystic this morning, however, and she tells me that Yogi will not form the trio with Sheppard and Steinbrenner. She was insistent, however, that I cancel my bowling date with Joe Pepitone next Thursday.
  • Matt Kemp isn’t being dealt. Of course, the only reason we’re obligated to mention this is because someone ridiculously suggested that he was going to get dealt.

The movie, by the way, was “Inception,” which I liked a great deal. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it will likely make a lot of money and will thereby cause movie studios to try and cash in with copycat psychological thrillers, all of which will almost certainly be muddled disasters because they won’t be written and directed by Chris Nolan.

Anyway, back to baseball for me.  Let’s get on with our week.

BREAKING: Manny Machado to sign with the Padres: 10 years, $300 million

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Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Manny Machado has a deal with the San Diego Padres. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the deal is for ten years and $300 million with an opt-out after year five.

At the moment there is some disagreement as to how “done” this deal is, with Padres chairman Ron Fowler saying “We do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions.” Ken Rosenthal, however, says that’s “semantics” and that the financial terms are in place, with the deal requiring over some final touches on language and Machado’s physical, which will likely be a formality.

The Padres were a late entrant into the Machado sweepstakes, but they reportedly met with Machado last week. The club has obviously not won for a long time, but they have a strong farm system. While that usually mitigates against a big free agent signing, Machado’s age — 26 — means that he’s still likely to be a productive player when that core of prospects is mature. And if it doesn’t develop, hey, he’s made some serious bank and can still opt-out at an age when he might get another decent paycheck.

For the Padres, Machado represents the biggest single investment in a player in club history. Last year they spent too, of course, giving Eric Hosmer an eight-year, $144 million contract, but this is definitely next-level. As for the baseball side of things, it’s likely that Machado will be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop. While all of the talk about Machado over the past several months has been focused on money and, sometimes, his alleged lack of hustle, the Padres are getting a player with a career line of .282/.335/.487 (121 OPS+), 175 career homers and a 33.8 career WAR in seven big league seasons. While he played shortstop last year and as a minor leaguer, his past and future is at third, where he is a superior defender. As for the hustle: it has almost exclusively been an obsession of the media, based on an ill-advised postgame quote in October. He has received no bad reviews from former teammates, all of whom speak highly of his game and his work ethic.

When the offseason began it appeared that the Phillies or the Yankees or, perhaps, the White Sox had the inside track on Machado. Everyone took a wait-and-see approach, reasonably believing that by waiting out Machado, a better deal could be struck. The risk of that approach, of course, is that it allowed the Padres to talk themselves into getting bold and, ultimately, swooping in to strike this deal.