PEORIA, Ariz. — No matter how Manny Machado’s contract saga ends, he’s headed for a forever-meaningful place in baseball history as one of the best third basemen of his generation.
But now he’s agreed to an 11-year extension that will keep him in San Diego until 2033? With the ability to reach unprecedented heights in San Diego, Machado has a unique opportunity to engrave himself in Padres lore as one of the franchise’s all-time greats.
The deal is not final and has yet to be announced by the club. But there’s no telling what Machado can accomplish in San Diego after putting pen to paper on that deal.
Here’s a look at some of the more meaningful records and accomplishments Machado could be charged with over the next decade:
Machado seems destined to be the fourth. At 30, he’s amassed 52 WAR, seemingly putting him on the cusp of a Hall of Fame career — and now, he has 11 years left on his contract.
Machado, of course, was an Oriole for his first seven seasons. But Sunday’s news put to rest the question of which cap Machado would choose. Smiling wider than usual as he walked into the Padres clubhouse on Sunday, Machado said:
“We’re excited to be here for the rest of our careers — and this hat should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
2. Padres’ home run king
Some of the aspirations on this list may seem lofty. It feels like a formality. With Machado’s post-2023 opt-out no longer happening, he seems destined to become the Padres’ all-time home run leader in relatively short order.
Machado’s 108 home runs with San Diego are 55 shy of Nate Colbert’s long-time record. Colbert — who became the franchise’s first true star player decades before Machado’s arrival — died in January. He hit 163 home runs in his first six years with the club during his six-year Padres tenure from 1969-74.
Can Machado break that streak in a six-year stretch? He would average just 28 homers over the next two seasons — the number he hit in his entire seasons with the Padres.
3. 500 homers and 3,000 hits
Sitting at 283 career home runs and 1,597 hits, Machado appears far from two of baseball’s most storied hitting milestones.
Last June, Machado became the 17th player to reach the halfway mark of both milestones before his 30th birthday. Of the top 16, 12 are Hall of Famers, two are on the ballot (Alex Rodriguez and Andrew Jones) and two are Hall doubters (Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols).
Over the course of his contract, Machado would need to average 19.7 homers and 127.5 hits to reach those two marks — certainly realistic, even if he declines in his late 30s.
In franchise history, only Quinn and Henderson have recorded their 3,000th career hit while wearing Padres colors. Home run no. As for the 500? Machado will be the first.
4. First World Series
Machado has had a poor record in his career, but he continues to search for that elusive first World Series championship. The Padres, now 54 years into their title drought, are looking for the same thing.
They have never had more sustained success than they have now. The team’s 1984 and ’98 pennants were sandwiched by one-off, mediocre seasons. Never made it past two first-round exits and a 163-game heartbreak in the mid-2000s.
These pads are different. With Machado at center, San Diego has built a roster filled with superstars — a roster that reached its first NLCS in 24 years, then added Xander Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr. Welcome back.
Quinn will not be replaced as the franchise’s most beloved and storied player. But if Machado can help give the city its first championship, he’ll have a comfortable spot alongside Quinn in the Padres’ lore.