Padres All-Star third baseman Manny Machado was relegated to designated hitter for the entirety of September due to an injury to his right (throwing) elbow and now he's had surgery to address the problem. The Padres announced on Tuesday that he had a procedure to repair the extensor tendon. The Padres have said that the recovery timeline is four to six months, which puts his Opening Day availability up in the air.
The problem late in the season, per the team, was lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as "tennis elbow." In fact, Machado and the Padres told reporters in September that he'd been dealing with the issue for the last two seasons. With the surgery, the hope is that Machado will be 100% for all or most of next season. Four months from right now would put us at Feb. 3 (so easily the start of spring training), but six months is April 3 and that's a week into the season (plus, the Padres start with a two-game series against the Dodgers in South Korea on March 20-21).
Machado, 31, followed up a 6.8 WAR season in which he finished second in NL MVP voting with a 2.9 WAR season in 2023. In his 138 games, he hit .258/.319/.462 (115 OPS+) with 21 doubles, 30 homers, 91 RBI and 75 runs.
The Padres were, of course, one of the most disappointing teams in baseball. They followed up their run to the 2022 NLCS by going 82-80 and missing the playoffs.
Machado is signed through 2033, making over $39 million per year each of the final seven years of that deal. He's set to make a touch over $17 million next season, as his contract extension is front-loaded.