PEORIA, Ariz. -- The San Diego Padres introduced Manny Machado to the media Friday at Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona, where he spoke for the first time as a Friar.
"It's finally over. I'm finally a Padre," Machado told reporters.
The 26-year-old said he is relieved the process is over and now he can focus on growing with his new team.
“The whole shabam was just so, so, so perfect and made it a little easier to make the decision that they’re confident in bringing me on board, helping me be apart of this team, help the younger guys," Machado said. "One of the best farm systems in the game -- the best -- and just to come here as a 26-year-old veteran to just try to give my knowledge to these guys and hopefully get back to playoffs to the city of San Diego and bring a championship.”
Padres general manager A.J. Preller thanked the fan base for their support, even through the hard times.
“As we look at the Padres family just really thank them for being patient and open to the process that we’ve laid out over the past few years and trying to build this foundation that we’ve talked about,” Preller said.
The ink is dry on Machado’s 10-year, $300 million contract. He says that his best years are ahead of him.
“This is just the beginning,” Machado said. "I still haven’t hit my ceiling and obviously I’ve put up consistent numbers as everyone knows but at the end of the day it’s about winning games. I know my production is going to be out there, I know I’m going to bring it everyday. So this point of my career is more about obviously putting up numbers and helping the team win but helping others out around you you makes everyone else better, makes the whole team better, makes the whole organization better. So moving forward that’s what you’re doing. And if everybody’s doing well then we’re having a pretty good season.”
The Padres have their first game of Spring Training Saturday when they take on the Seattle Mariners.