The Padres, the surprise West Coast version of the Mets, are said to be hopeful that they can lock up Manny Machado before he opts out at the end of the season. At this point, who could doubt them?
While extending ace pitcher Yu Darvish to a $108 million, six-year deal, signing Michael Wacha to a creative contract and inking San Diego product Cole Hamels to a minor league deal within the past week alone, the Padres also have been talking to Machado’s people.
Machado has thrived in San Diego, where he has bought a home, and there’s some hope they can extend him so he won’t exercise the opt-out in his $300M, 10-year deal.
One Angels person suggested he won’t be surprised if the Padres — whose payroll is up to an unthinkable $260M — are even the high bidder for Shohei Ohtani. Though that would be a true shocker, since the huge-market Dodgers and deep-pocketed Mets could easily outbid them, it’s no surprise the Padres will try.
The Padres’ revenues are up in an almost unprecedented way. They capped Fanfest requests at 155,000 and expect 40,000 fans to attend games this year for the now NL West favorites, even over the rival Dodgers. But rivals still marvel at their efforts.
Mets manager Buck Showalter expressed faith that Kodai Senga will make the adjustment from Japan to MLB’s bigger baseball and steeper slope (the bigger issue to Senga, he said) after what Senga himself called a “so-so” throwing session in which many pitches — the ghost ball and others — were off the mark.
“It’ll happen at some point. It takes a while,” Showalter told The Post. “I’ve had many Japanese pitchers. They all make the adjustment.”
Perhaps MLB should make the adjustment and adopt the smaller, tackier baseball they use in Japan.
Pete Alonso said his ride from his Tampa-area home to spring training across Florida was uneventful this time. Last spring, someone ran a red light and flipped Alonso’s truck three times — though miraculously he didn’t suffer a scratch. Alonso sends thanks to Ford for the 250 model pickup. He said, “It’s the car that saved my life, so I bought another one.”