Padres owner Peter Seidler, left, has been willing to spend big money to build his team, including giving third baseman Manny Machado, right, an 11-year, $350 million deal. Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — This kind of thing doesn’t happen much in San Diego.

As Padres owner Peter Seidler walked on stage for a panel discussion at FanFest on a brilliant Saturday afternoon in February, chants of “Peter! Peter! Peter!” rose up from the crowd of several thousand fans jammed into a grassy park just beyond center field at Petco Park.

The most eagerly anticipated season in Padres history starts Thursday and it’s not a stretch to say that Seidler is as beloved as the superstar quartet of Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts. After all, Seidler’s the guy who’s going to be writing the massive checks at least three of those players, and maybe all four, will be cashing into the next decade.

“It was a thrill just to be there,” said Seidler, an aw-shucks kind of guy who wants nothing more than to bring San Diego its first World Series title. “When your players are good, I guess, it flows to people like me. But it really was all about the players.”

Seidler, a third-generation member of the O’Malley family that once owned the Dodgers, has raised eyebrows across baseball by fearlessly lavishing big contracts on players. Since July, the Padres have signed hometown hero Joe Musgrove – who owns the only no-hitter in franchise history – to a $100 million, five-year deal; Bogaerts to a $280 million, 11-year contract; ace Yu Darvish to $108 million over six seasons; and the biggest splash of all, giving Machado a $350 million, 11-year deal, the fourth-largest contract in baseball history.

Fans hope that with Seidler at the helm, the Padres will be able to sign Soto to what could be the biggest contract in baseball history to keep the young generational talent here beyond 2024.


“One year soon, the baseball gods will shine on the San Diego Padres and we will have a parade,” Seidler said the day they signed Machado.

Ah, yes, a parade. San Diego has been great at throwing parades for losers. The Chargers got one after they were embarrassed by the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl 29 years ago. The Padres got one after they were swept by the New York Yankees the last time they reached the World Series, in 1998.

Seidler envisions a parade with a trophy. The organization feels it’s close after a stirring run to the NL Championship Series last year.

Many outside of San Diego, including Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort, wonder how the Padres can sustain the spending. Seidler doesn’t care what anybody else thinks. San Diego has a different vibe than most other cities and Petco Park is a fun place to be, Seidler says. He scoffs at the city being a so-called small market.

He also doesn’t like the word sustainable.

“Let’s find a different one,” he said. “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.”


GUARDIANS: Andrés Giménez became an All-Star last season. He is about to get paid like one.

The smooth-fielding second baseman has agreed to terms on a long-term contract with Cleveland, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

Giménez, who batted .297 and won a Gold Glove for the AL Central champions last season, could sign the deal within days, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract won’t be finalized until he passes a physical.

The Guardians also are nearing a deal with reliever Trevor Stephan, the person said.

ESPN reported that Giménez has agreed to a seven-year, $106.5 million package that includes a club option for an eighth year. It’s the largest pre-arbitration deal ever given to a second baseman.

BREWERS: Milwaukee outrighted infielder Keston Hiura to their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville after he cleared waivers.


Hiura, 26, had an outstanding rookie season in 2019 but hasn’t been able to recapture that form. He batted .226 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 80 games last season and struck out in 111 of his 266 plate appearances.

• First baseman Luke Voit has a $2 million major league salary in his one-year contract with Milwaukee, and the former big league home run champion can earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses.

Voit’s contract, announced Monday, includes a $12 million team option for 2024 with no buyout.

He can earn $500,000 each for 250, 300, 350, 400, 450 and 500 plate appearances in 2023.

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