Padres general manager AJ Preller said Tuesday that the San Diego team would try to retain Dominicans Manny Machado and Juan Soto on their roster.
“The good thing for us is that you’re talking about two of the best in the game and how we keep both,” Preller said when speaking to reporters from Padre’s training camps in Peoria, Arizona, United States.
The Padres executive emphasized that the team’s priority is to retain Machado, who revealed last Monday that he would opt to enter free agency at the end of the 2023 season, five years after the agreement he signed with the team, before the 2019 campaign.
“Manny (Machado) is my top priority. He is always a priority for the organization and me. He is a phenomenal player.
He is a big part of what we do here,” said Preller, who indicated that they respect the decision made by the 30-year-old star third baseman. Referring to the negotiation process with the Dominican, Preller noted that the team maintains a good relationship with Machado’s representatives and agents and that if he is interested, they will continue to talk about it.
In his four seasons with the Padres, Machado is batting .280 with 108 home runs, 117 runs scored, and 340 RBIs while finishing in the top three finalists for the National League MVP twice.
“Manny lived up to everything we could have hoped for when we signed him,” said Preller, who said the team is preparing to compete in the short and long term.
In both stages of the Padres’ plans, Soto, eligible for free agency at the end of the 2024 season, is an option for the club.
“Those are conversations that will be part of the next 12 months and the next two years with Juan,” said Preller, who did not hide that the money arranged for the signing of one of these two players can affect the other.
“They are not unlimited resources. It is not an unlimited budget. You have to make decisions and choices,” the San Diego executive specified.