The San Diego Padres stunned the baseball world by signing superstar Manny Machado to the largest free agent contract in U.S. sports history earlier this week.
It appears that despite the monolithic deal, they're not out on the offseason's other top free agent, Bryce Harper.
hard as it is to believe, the padres have not ruled out signing bryce harper, too. ownership will meet tomorrow to see if they can make it 2 for 2 on this winter's mega stars. not seen as a likelihood, but apparently not out of the question, either.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 22, 2019
According to Jon Heyman, the team's ownership will meet on Friday to determine whether or not they plan to pursue Harper. It seems like a long shot, especially considering they're a small market team that has shelled out big bucks in two consecutive offseasons for free agents, but they seem determined to field a truly competitive team in 2019.
If the Padres were to sign Harper, they'd have an outfield featuring him, Wil Myers, and Hunter Renfroe in addition to an infield that would have Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer manning the corners. Not bad.
Adding him would almost assuredly jumpstart an offense that was borderline anemic in 2018. They scored a measly 617 runs last year, the third-fewest in all of baseball, and ended the year dead last in the NL West with a 66-96 record.
Padres ownership wants to win, and will do, “whatever we can rationally do to make that happen.”— Rich Ohrnberger (@ohrnberger) February 21, 2019
Padres only have $110M in payroll (bottom third of MLB). They have team control of a great lineup for (at least) the next 4 seasons.
Bryce Harper. It’s rational. Sign him.
Harper previously expressed his desire to play in San Diego when they hosted the MLB All-Star Game back in 2016. He'll command a contract that's at least equal in value to Machado's, but if they do end up pursuing him, he and Machado could transform the Padres from a league-wide laughingstock into a playoff contender.