If you were an MLB free agent, and all offers were financially the same, where would you sign? That is a question I have asked myself a few times over the years. My answer – I’d sign with the San Diego Padres. With reports coming out that the Padres have emerged as a mystery team for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, we should take a look at why they should consider the Padres
San Diego is a beautiful city. Temperatures throughout baseball season range from lows of 54 Degrees to highs of 77 degrees. The city of San Diego has the most “pleasant days” of any city in America. A pleasant day is defined as an average temperature between 55 – 75 degrees. San Diego gets 261 of those every year. For a quick comparison – New York gets about 110 pleasant days, Boston gets about 74 pleasant days per year.
San Diego has plenty of things to keep your average multi-million dollar baseball player busy. There are beautiful beaches, a world famous zoo, historical buildings, Sea World, the Gaslamp Quarter, and even Legoland. If you are craving the attention you would get in a larger city, Los Angeles is close enough to drive to – without having to live in that dump.
Petco Park is a beautiful place to play baseball, and it was built not too long ago – in 2004. The Western Metal Supply building is what makes the park unique, as architects were able to incorporate the for-demolition building into the design. While it may be known as a pitcher-friendly park, the Padres have been known to adjust their field dimensions in the past to make it more hitter-friendly. If I’m a free agent hitter, I would see how much they could negotiate on that.
The Padres have about $75 million on the books for this upcoming season, however almost 1/3 of that is being paid out to players that are no longer with the team. Looking ahead to 2020, they will have only 4 active veteran contracts and a payroll at $64 million. The Padres have the number one farm system in baseball, lending most to believe that they will have a bright future.
San Diego has not been competitive for a while. The last time the Padres reached the playoffs was 2006, the last time they reached the World Series was 1998. They have never won a World Series. They have only won their division 5 times. Worst case scenario, the team is bad. You collect millions of dollars without much scrutiny – just like Hosmer did last year.
The San Diego Padres are so under the radar that I just googled “professional sports in San Diego” and they were 4th on the list. They were behind the Dodgers, Angels and A’s.
Only Major Sport In Town
Football left San Diego for Los Angeles. The only competition left for baseball in the city is the Alliance of American Football’s San Diego Fleet, The San Diego Seals of Major League Lacrosse, Rugby’s San Diego Legion, and the upcoming San Diego 1904 FC of Major League Soccer. If you want to dominate the sports landscape in a major city, San Diego is a great choice.
Legend Status is Easily Achievable
The Padres are the primary team of just two hall of famers – Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman. There were a few other notable players that I can recall from my childhood; Khalil Greene, Matt Bush (No.1 pick 2004), Jake Peavy, and Adrian Gonzalez. However, if I am a free agent and I want to put my stamp on a team in a big way, there really isn’t much that I would have to surpass to be regarded as a legend in San Diego.