Despite some major trade deadline acquisitions, the San Diego Padres suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Dodgers this weekend.
The Pads are all-in on a World Series either this year, or some point in the near future. While teams don’t automatically gel overnight, A.J. Preller didn’t add the likes of Josh Hader and Juan Soto just to get swept by the Dodgers.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened over the weekend. Los Angeles is the best team in baseball, while San Diego is resigned to being an NL Wild Card contender. A postseason appearance is the bare minimum the Padres should accomplish this year.
Despite a tough start to the Juan Soto era, Padres third baseman Manny Machado didn’t seem all that worried.
Who needs to be concerned when you’re Manny Bleeping Machado?
Should Padres be worried about sweep at hands of Dodgers?
“Keep playing baseball,” Machado said, per ESPN. “It’s plain and simple. Nothing else to it.”
San Diego has a star-studded pitching staff and the lineup to match. Fernando Tatis Jr. is on his way back to join Machado and new acquisitions Soto and Josh Bell. On paper, the Padres should be one of the best teams in all of baseball.
“We know what we have and that’s it,” Machado said. “We have no pressure in here. We’re going out there and playing baseball every single day. Whatever that day brings us, we’re gonna go out there and give it all we have.”
Should fans buy that, though?
While Machado doesn’t feel the heat, perhaps other players on the team do. San Diego is just 1.5 games up on the Milwaukee Brewers for the third NL Wild Card spot. Even before trading for Soto, the Padres had more than enough talent to make the playoffs.
By buying so heavily at the deadline, Preller and the front office made their expectations obvious. Should the team failed to reach those yet again, heads will roll.