Seidler, Padres playing long and short game with Bogaerts deal

Kevin Acee, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Baseball

Padres chairman Peter Seidler spoke with a childlike enthusiasm about his interactions with fans, especially children, during the postseason.

"Just being able to plant so many seeds, getting kids in the ballpark," Seidler said a couple days after the Padres' playoff run ended in late October. "These kids are crying after we lose. 'There's no crying in baseball,' I told one of them the other day. They didn't know what I was talking about. But we're seeding great fans for life. From our standpoint, we've always had an obligation, and it's at a higher level now."

Seidler has declined public comment this week, but his latest attempt to maintain that obligation, prevent tears and end the Padres' championship-less existence came in his direct involvement in securing an agreement with four-time All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Wednesday.

The 11-year, $280 million deal, which is expected to be officially announced Friday, was completed with more involvement from Seidler than most negotiations, two sources said. His added involvement was due to his wanting to make sure the Padres got one of their primary targets to improve their offense and because of his robust relationship with Bogaerts' agent, Scott Boras.

The 30-year-old Bogaerts, who was part of two World Series championship teams with the Red Sox, joins the Padres having led all major league shortstops in on-base percentage (.373), OPS-plus (133) and WAR (23.4) over the past five seasons while ranking second in average (.300) and slugging percentage (.507) in that time.

The total value of Bogaerts' contract is third highest on the Padres' behind the 14-year, $340 million deal Fernando Tatis Jr. signed in 2021 and the 10-year, $300 million deal Manny Machado signed in 2019. And it gives the Padres three of the 12 largest contracts in MLB history.


And it does not seem the Padres are finished trying to make sure last year's National League Championship Series appearance was a beginning rather than a burst.

Seidler has talked with disdainful disappointment about the Padres having made the postseason in consecutive years just once in their 53 seasons. In aiming to do so a second time, their intention is to add another veteran starting pitcher such as Japanese star Kodai Senga and a "bat" that could possibly mean an outfielder/designated hitter such as Joey Gallo.

Their payroll is projected to be around $235 million for next season, which currently ranks third in the major leagues. This will be their fourth consecutive season in the top 10 after ranking no higher than 17th in any season since 2000.

The record payout paying off is no certainty. For all the potential at the top of the batting order, the Padres still have holes in their everyday starting lineup. Their need for another veteran starter could be fairly characterized as desperate. Their offensive depth must be upgraded, a task that will be made more challenging by the top-heavy nature of the payroll.


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