Going Deep: Machado Joins The Padres
Manny Machado finally gets the deal he has been waiting for, as news broke Tuesday that he will be joining the San Diego Padres after signing a 10-year, $300 million deal with an opt-out after the fifth season. As the dust settles, there will be more analysis on the terms of the deal and what this means for the Padres organization. For now, let’s look at how this affects Machado for the 2019 fantasy season.
Petco Park Paranoia
For fantasy purposes, this move may be initially met with horror, as most of us have been trained to avoid hitters in San Diego’s Petco Park and to target pitchers. RotoGrinders has an excellent park factors page, and I’ve taken the park factors for a right-handed hitter in Machado’s last two home parks and added in his new home park in the table below — 1.0 is league average, while anything above 1.0 is better than average.
As you can see, most of the numbers are close, and while we can expect a worse home run environment for Machado, the rest of the park factors feature little separation. San Diego is no more than 6 percentage points worse than Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards in all categories outside of home runs and triples, and Petco actually has a significant triples advantage over Machado’s past home parks.
And while the AL East featured multiple hitter-friendly ballparks for road games, Machado now gets to travel to Coors Field more often and also plays in what is likely to be an easier division. Machado may not repeat 37 home runs this year, but 30 still seems like a safe bet. Any other downgrades should be relatively negligible.
Lineup and Team Factors
Machado will likely spend the season batting second or third and surrounded by the likes of Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, Ian Kinsler, and Hunter Renfroe. It’s not the ideal lineup for Machado, but it isn’t that far off from what he has dealt with in the past. The Orioles posted a middle-of-the-pack 96 wRC+ during Machado’s 2015-2018 dominance, while the Padres recorded a league-worst 85 wRC+ over that same span. Taking Machado off the Orioles and adding him to the Padres would have certainly helped close that gap as well. And this past year was even closer, with the Orioles dipping to an 87 wRC+ and the Padres holding steady with an 84 wRC+. While I wouldn’t alter my rankings because of speculation, adding Bryce Harper to this lineup would only improve Machado’s outlook for the 2019 season.
The other key factor that will determine Machado’s overall fantasy value is his stolen base output, and he seems to be in a fine spot to produce in that department. The Padres have ranked in the top half of the league in stolen bases each of the past two years, including last year’s ninth-place finish. While that doesn’t guarantee that Machado will run in 2019, he at least hasn’t found himself on a team that actively discourages its players from stealing bases.
And considering that the Padres allowed former top hitter Myers to steal 61 total bases over the past three seasons (including an injury-shortened 2018), there is little evidence to suggest that the team will suddenly ask a 26-year-old Machado to stop stealing. Machado’s past stolen base totals have been all over the map, but signing with the Padres shouldn’t be what causes a disappointing total.
ADP and Rankings
Machado has an ADP in the 12 to 15 range depending on where you look and has typically been the third or fourth shortstop drafted this year. Our own Jonathan Metzelaar ranked him as the second-best shortstop last week in his top 30 shortstop rankings. Some drafters may lower Machado in their rankings because of the Petco Park factor, while others may raise him in their rankings if they had been concerned about a holdout lasting through the spring. Unless you were banking on a friendlier home park such as Yankee Stadium, I don’t see much reason to change your original ranking for Machado.
And if Petco scares off the rest of your league, be ready to pounce on Machado as he falls further into the second round.
(Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire)