By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
Manny Machado will play third base for the San Diego Padres, a move that could have ramifications for Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts as he approaches free agency at the end of the 2019 season.
Jon Heyman was the first to report Thursday that Machado has agreed to play third for his new team, paving the way for Fernando Tatis Jr., the number two prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, to take over at shortstop when he reaches the big leagues.
Manny Machado has agreed to play 3B from the start for the padres, which is a treat for all. also leaves SS open for when phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 22, 2019
Machado’s move back to the hot corner resets the money structure at the shortstop position across baseball. Instead of Machado's 10-year, $300 million contract looming large at the top of the list of Major League shortstops, Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers remains the highest-paid player at the position at $15 million per year.
Bogaerts will make $12 million in 2019. Presumably, he will surpass Andrus once he hits free agency but won't come close to Machado.
Scott Boras, Bogaerts' agent, would have likely pointed to Machado's $30 million average annual value as part his negotiations with the Red Sox and any other team interested in Bogaerts, but Machado's lack of shortstop status will likely preclude Boras from making that argument.
The 26-year-old Bogaerts is coming off his most complete season in the majors. The two-time American League Silver Slugger award recipient at shortstop batted .288 with an .888 OPS. His 23 home runs and 102 runs batted in both represented career-highs.