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Is the San Diego Padres' spending spree sustainable? | Locked On Padres

The Padres' 2023 payroll is projected to be nearly $240 million thanks to their busy offseason that included two 11-year deals to star players.

SAN DIEGO — One of the biggest stories of 2023 is the San Diego Padres and their shopping spree which has lasted for nearly five years now.

The spree started back in 2019 with the signing of Manny Machado and his original contract worth $300 million over 10 years.

Since then, the Padres gave Fernando Tatis, Jr. a 14-year, $340 million deal in 2021, five years and $100 million to Joe Musgrove in August 2022, 11 years and $280 million to Xander Bogaerts in December, six-years and $108 million to Yu Darvish this past month and then an extension to Machado to make him a Padre for the next 11 years with $350 million to paid on that deal.

The Padres also traded for Juan Soto before the deadline last season and took on two-plus years of his contract which is worth just over $50 million and they will probably try to keep him when he’s up for free agency.

As every baseball fan knows, spending money doesn’t always equal championships. Just look at the Padres’ main rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are always near the top of MLB’s payroll list, and while successful and playoff-bound every year for the past decade, their only championship came during the 2020 season.

And speaking of Los Angeles, the Padres are one major sports team that LA hasn’t 'stolen' from San Diego—the Chargers and Clippers both left San Diego for LA. So right now, the Padres are in a unique position in San Diego, They’re the only major sports team left, and their owner Peter Seidler knows what a championship could mean to a city that feels like little brother compared to the more glitzy and glamorous place just 120 miles north I-5.

San Diego and Padres fans want that ring sooner rather than later but the question many people around baseball are asking is, “Can this spending be sustainable for the Padres?”

Hosts Javier Reyes of Locked On Padres and Paul Francis Sullivan of Locked On MLB discussed this on a crossover edition of the show.

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As Sullivan pointed out, “All (MLB) owners should want to spend money to make their teams competitive no matter where they play.” 

It seems too many teams are falling back on the “we’re in a small market therefore we can’t compete,” complaints that have been heard this offseason from Phil Castellini of the Cincinnati Reds and even John Henry of the Boston Red Sox, who was lamenting the spending other teams like the New York Mets and Dodgers can get away with. 

One subject that Reyes and Sullivan brought up was how it seems to be the everyday fan and not journalists around baseball who are wondering/questioning where the Padres are getting all this money to spend. 

Reyes joked, “Who cares?” No one ever asks where the New York Yankees, Mets, or Dodgers get their money because they’re in the biggest markets but the moment a team that isn’t in the Top 10 or even Top 20, is under the microscope.

In sports, championship windows usually don’t remain open for too long and the Padres are trying to do whatever they can to make sure they have enough star power to get the elusive title for the city of San Diego. Maybe the better question for the Padres and their fans is, will it be worth it?

We will just have to wait and see.

Listen or watch the full conversation on the Locked On Padres podcast, free and available on all platforms

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