Machado finishes runner-up in NL MVP race

November 18th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- No Padre in the past 26 seasons has come as close to winning an MVP Award as Manny Machado in 2022. But the superstar third baseman ultimately came up short of the sport's top individual honor.

Machado finished second in voting for the National League MVP Award to Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Thursday night.

Goldschmidt finished with 380 total points to Machado's 291 and 22 first-place votes to Machado's seven. Nolan Arenado, who finished third, received the lone remaining first-place vote and finished with 232 points.

Machado's second-place finish is the highest by a Padre since Ken Caminiti won the only MVP Award in franchise history in 1996.

Results were unveiled Thursday night on MLB Network, with finalists Goldschmidt, Arenado and Machado video-conferencing into the awards show.

"A lot happened this year," Machado said in an interview prior to the announcement. "It was a great year, making the postseason and bringing a Championship Series back to San Diego. For me, the biggest thing is always playing with these teammates. That was the greatest thing. We had such a great group this year. We all came together as a team and did a lot of special things."

Machado was at the center of most of them. He posted a slash line of .298/.366/.531 with 32 homers, 100 runs scored and 102 RBIs -- and he did so while putting forth his usual outstanding defense at third base.

He led the NL in fWAR with a 7.4 mark that was the highest by a Padres position player since Caminiti's 1996 campaign. Goldschmidt, meanwhile, led the NL in bWAR, hitting .317/.404/.578. Goldschmidt posted better offensive numbers than Machado, but Machado’s case for the award rested elsewhere.

He brought significantly more value on the defensive end as one of the sport’s premier third basemen. Plus, Machado carried the Padres’ offense for much of the season, with Fernando Tatis Jr. on the sideline and Deadline reinforcements only arriving in August (and mostly struggling after doing so).

“Goldschmidt, those numbers are fantastic,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said last month. “But he’s also got Arenado behind him. So, look, it’s going to play out however it plays out. But I don’t see a guy that’s more valuable to his particular team in this league than Manny Machado is for us.”

Ultimately, the voters didn’t quite agree. (Well, to be fair, seven of them did. Machado placed second on 13 ballots, third on seven ballots, fourth on two ballots and fifth on one.)

With his second-place finish, Machado has now placed in the Top 5 on four separate occasions and twice with the Padres. He finished third in 2020. In fact, Machado has now finished fifth, fourth, third and second in MVP voting in his career. But he’s yet to finish first.