Besides, considering this is a team who already has two $300 million players in their infield, what’s another big contract?
“I love our roster as it’s constructed,’’ owner Peter Seidler said. “We’re constantly looking to improve, and that’s exactly what’s going on right now.’’
Most teams might be compelled to take a step back after spending a franchise-record $216 million and not even finishing .500, with an epic collapse that saw them lose 24 of their last 36, but not the Padres.
Certainly, it would have made life easier if All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. didn’t fracture his wrist in a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic during the winter, sidelining him for at least three months – but they refuse to let it torpedo their chances.
The Padres not only are trying to sign Freeman, but are in heavy negotiations with Japanese free-agent outfielder Seiya Suzuki, who is being pursued by about a half-dozen teams.
“We want to win, man, and we feel like we got the guys to do it,’’ Padres starter Joe Musgrove says. “The fact that they’re putting the money out there to add the few pieces that we need, and giving guys the money they need to make them want to stay here, is important.
“As a player, it’s feels good to know you’re on a team that wants to compete and have the talent to win it all.’’metasports
Meanwhile, the Padres had lengthy talks with Tatis, who is forbidden from riding motorcyles in his standard contract. They have insurance on Tatis if he misses the entire season, but have no plans to dock pay for Tatis, who’s in the second year of a 14-year, $340 million contract.
They believe he’ll be just fine, perfectly healthy for the second half of the season, but explicitly let him know that his motorcycle days are over.
“He’s 22 years old, you have fun,’’ Melvin said, “and I don’t think anything was intentional here. But I think you learn from experiences.
“And I think this is one to learn from.’’
The Padres learned from their 2021 disastrous experience too, believing it will never happen again.
A certain free-agent first baseman, who lives in nearby Corona Del Mar, Calif., may guarantee just that.