The San Diego Padres reached the NLCS last year, the furthest the team has advanced in the postseason in 24 years. And with its best record since 2010, the Padres are feeling good about their chances to reach the World Series next year. As the offseason got underway and winter meetings began, Padres management has been aggressive in its quest for another star free agent.
At first, the team tried to get Trea Turner, offering him a deal worth $342 million. He turned that down, deciding to move across the country from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Then, the Padres attempted to lure Aaron Judge away from the New York Yankees. Judge, coming off an MVP-winning year that saw him break the American League record for most home runs in a single season, reportedly got a contract offer of $400 million and ten years from the Padres. He took a slightly shorter deal to stay with the Yankees at the same average annual value: nine years, $360 million.
Despite an 0-2 count, the Padres remained persistent. And they’ve finally landed their big name in shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The Padres and Bogaerts agreed to an 11-year, $280 million deal.
Collectively, the Padres offered $1.022 billion to Turner, Judge, and Bogaerts. Free agency can be a fickle thing; once someone is signed, teams must immediately set their sights on someone else. There was no world where the Padres would end up with all three of Turner, Judge, and Bogaerts, so they were never in real danger of actually committing more than $1 billion to three new players.
That’s a good thing, because the Padres have plenty of hefty contracts already. Bogaerts joins a lineup that features Fernando Tatis Jr. (on a $340 million deal), Manny Machado ($300 million), and Juan Soto, who turned down a deal that would have set an MLB record because he believed he could earn MORE than that.
The Padres owe a lot of players a lot of dough. But legitimate opportunities for championships don’t come along very often. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money — or in this case, to win a World Series ring.