PEORIA, Ariz. — Bob Melvin could not have known that puzzle-building was going to be a vital skill when he signed on San Diego Management Company Padres. But it’s a rolling roster of top-shelf talent. and An almost unbelievable number of shortstops. He is here, bits fumbling from the box and All over the place.

Xander Bogaerts’s arrival as a free agent this off-season made clear that one of the spring’s trickiest aspects would be fitting all those pieces together. It is called The Padres have what will be one of Major League Baseball’s four highest payrolls in 2023, according to Spotrac, yet the team will frequently be playing as many as four players out of position.

They have been so aggressive that today’s plan often changes with tomorrow’s sunrise. The latest example came Sunday when a looming story line for the team — Manny Machado’s expected opt-out after the season — was eliminated by his agreeing to terms on A new deal worth $350 Million over 11 years was signed. Details were confirmed by an individual on Anonymity is required because the agreement has not been officially announced.

Now, Machado Bogaerts (2033), Signed through 2033 and Fernando Tatis Jr. (2034), will probably grow up together in San Diego, as they are both Machado and Bogaerts are bound by no-trade provisions. Those deals, and Juan Soto is just two seasons from being free to go, and many are wondering how the outfielder could make it even better. Padres Can you afford all the stars? on a long-term basis.

The Padres’ owner, Peter Seidler, pointing out that “there is a risk to doing nothing, too,” has been working to counter criticism about how “sustainable” This plan works.

“People love that word,” he said of sustainability. “Let’s find a different one. Do I believe our parade is going to be on land or on water or on both?

“Putting a great and winning team on the field in San Diego year after year is sustainable.”

The team must first sort through its many pieces. The domino effect begins with the installation of Bogaerts at shortstop, which means last year’s shortstop, Ha-Seong Kim, will slide over to second base. And last year’s second baseman, Jake Cronenworth, will move to first base.

When Tatis, the team’s starting shortstop from 2019 to 2021, returns from his performance-enhancing-drug suspension on He is scheduled to play right field on April 20. Soto played right field during the Padres After a deal with the Washington Nationals, he will be moving to the left.

This is the kind of situation that can lead to chaos and bruised egos and This may seem like a 1000-piece collection of unsatisfied players.

Cronenworth dismissed that notion.

“We all can’t wear the same glove at the same position, but we can all contribute wherever we’re playing that day,” He stated.

That attitude is most likely the result of Melvin’s having begun a lengthy series of sensitive conversations many weeks ago. The overall response has pleased him.

“They said, ‘Look, we just want to help our team win,’” Melvin stated. “And just because Kim’s going to get a lot of reps at second doesn’t mean he might not end up with shortstop on days Xander gets off. And then Croney’s going to play second again as opposed to first. So in the overall look right now, there are some conversations. But there haven’t been any difficult ones to this point.”

For years, teams with sleek, athletic outfields have favored the old cliché: “It’s like we have three center fielders.” Only one thing: Padres The team will consist of shortstops. This is Bogaerts’ natural position. Kim and Tatis was also shortstop for Cronenworth at the University of Michigan. Even Machado In his Baltimore days, he was a great shortstop.

The glut of infield options makes Tatis’s move to the outfield feel fairly permanent, andThis is unlike any previous attempt by the team. After a dislocated shoulder had been pulled out several times, Tatis was dispatched by the Padres To keep him healthy, he will be playing in the outfield 24 times during the second half.

It did not look like he enjoyed the move. and His normally lively game became dull.

“I was frustrated with myself because of my health issues,” Tatis spoke of the noteworthy downturn.

Before using anonymous sources, what do we think? Is the source aware of this information? What’s their motivation for telling us? Are they reliable? Are we able to confirm the information? These questions being answered, The Times still uses anonyme sources for last resort. Reporter and Minimum one editor must know the identity source.

Tatis was 24 when he addressed his health issues during his suspension. Tatis had to have surgery on his shoulder. and Revision procedure on He fractured his left wrist in a December 2021 motorbike accident. Although he is 100% healthy, he hasn’t played in any major league games since October 3, 2021.

Bogaerts (aged 30) pointed out how playing shortstop can be very draining on The body and cited Tatis’s previous injuries as a good reason to try something new, because, he said, “this is a guy that the team, and the game in general, wants to see on the field as much as possible.”

Bogaerts said that he was shocked when he received the news in his first job. PadresTatis was already signed to a long term deal. Tatis approached him and offered him an 11-year contract worth $280 million. Tatis was unable to negotiate about his playing position because of the myriad problems he had experienced over the past 2 seasons. on It is a field.

“I knew from the beginning that they were trying to make the team better,” Tatis spoke out about Bogaerts’ acquisition. “Xander is a great player. I knew he would be a key to us winning a World Series.”

Tatis stated that he was “prepared for everything.” Mostly, he is working in the outfield — Bogaerts cited Tatis’s arm as a huge asset in right field — and when asked whether he thought he would return to shortstop one day, Tatis said he didn’t know.

“A lot of stuff happens in this game,” He stated. “You can’t be surprised. I’m just going to be ready wherever they tell me they need me.”

Machado’s new deal seems to lessen the odds of such a return. Bogaerts represented insurance cases for many. Machado This season, Bogaerts opted to leave. Bogaerts would have had the opportunity to move up to third base in order for Tatis to be shortstop. But that route now seems blocked.

Even with the team’s defensive positioning having been decided for the foreseeable future, the present for San Diego is complicated by the Padres Having several players including Bogaerts and Kim and Machado, on The World Baseball Classic is just around the corner. Bogaerts’ double-play combo will be limited by the absence of time and Kim to get familiar. And Kim, who is statistically the team’s best defensive option at shortstop, will pause his development at second base to play his natural position for Korea.

“That’s the part I worry about the most, is maybe them not getting as many reps together,” Melvin expressed his admiration for his infielders.

Regardless of how the pieces fit together, the collection of stars had led to a feeling in San Diego that the team, which played in the National League Championship Series in October, is on We are on the brink of something extraordinary. For the first time ever, season ticket sales were capped at approximately 24,000. and A waiting list exists. You can find out more about the Padres The club is poised to bring in three million fans, for the second consecutive time in its history and Could set a new club record

This is the kind of surge that makes it possible. Machado30 year old snarks at the team owners complaining about their performance Padres’ soaring payroll.

“They all have the means for it,” Machado on His first day at camp. “To me, it’s just if they want to or if they want to win. So, Peter has shown an interest that he wants to win.”

It’s okay if it shakes up egos or positions.

“Hopefully it all works out, man,” Bogaerts said. “It’s supposed to be a fun, special season. Hopefully the outcome is something really special.”

James Wagner Participatory reporting