Manny Machado
K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado underwent laser eye surgery in the offseason because he said his vision felt slightly off during night games in recent seasons. Machado is still just 28 years old and is in the prime of his career in an outstanding lineup in San Diego. 

In the shortened 2020 season, Machado hit .304/.370/.580 with 16 home runs to finish third in National League MVP voting. The right-handed slugger was on pace to shatter his career-highs in most offensive categories and posted career-bests in strikeout rate, walk rate and batting average. He also had a career-low 37.2 percent ground-ball rate and a career-high 22 percent line-drive rate.

A year ago, upon arriving in camp, Manny Machado declared himself “swole as hell” after bulking up during the winter. Considering the results that the regimen produced, Machado didn’t see any reason to alter his workout plan.

But Machado did make one noteworthy change. He had laser eye surgery. Why make that change after a season in which he batted above .300?

“I still have the same vision,” he said. “We’ll just see when the lights turn on in San Diego if I can make that adjustment. It was nothing major. Hopefully, it helps me see the ball a little better. I can hit .320, .330.

Machado’s .310 batting average under the lights last season was actually better than his .288 mark during day games.

Machado in 2019, in his first year of being the highest-paid player in Padres history, slumped to one of the worst finishes of his career. Machado no longer owns the most lucrative contract in franchise history — or even on the left side of the Padres’ infield. That distinction belongs to Fernando Tatis Jr., who inked a 14-year, $340 million deal earlier this month.

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