Now that Manny Machado has agreed to a historic 10-year deal worth $300 million, the San Diego Padres are now showing that they are ready to take it to the next level, competitively. If they're truly serious about this, they need to upgrade their starting pitching. After more than 100 days, it's San Diego that Manny Machado has decided to call home after Padres snuck into the front of the negotiation process and now are walking away winners in the Machado sweepstakes.

Padres have a top-level farm system producing strong prospects

According to NJ.com, the Padres own the top farm system in the league which includes No.

7 overall prospect SS Fernando Tatis Jr. and strong pitching prospect Mckenzie Gore, but the big-league talent is lacking. Eric Hosmer is in the second year of his 8-year deal. Will Myers is getting better and moving back to the outfield. Hunter Renfroe is back after delivering one of his best seasons in San Diego with a 2.4 bWAR. The Padres ended up signing Ian Kinsler to a two-year deal. The team now has a respectable lineup when Machado joins the field.

While the players may be underwhelming, consider the Padres starting rotation from last season.

Clayton Richard led the team with 158.2 innings pitched. Joey Lucchesi recorded a team-best 4.08 ERA. Only Lucchesi is returning to the club this season. The Padres are struggling when it comes to starting pitching.

With Machado signed, Padres need to focus on starting pitchers

The Padres are in desperate need for starting pitching. The free agency market is full of starting options, but not many are on the same level as former AL Cy-Young and free agent Dallas Keuchel. A move by the Padres for Keuchel is similar to the Cubs signing of Jon Lester in 2015.

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Lester helped guide a young group of pitchers including Jake Arrieta elevate their performance as the season progressed.

Keuchel has suffered from a decrease in strikeouts, since recording a career-high 216 batters strikeouts in 2015. Having someone like Keuchel would just improve the club, simply by being a veteran and having that leadership in the clubhouse.

Dallas Keuchel could be the leader in the clubhouse for the Padres

Dallas Keuchel is being represented by top agent Scott Boras, and while the free agent market has been slow, Boras will definitely get Keuchel signed for a multi-year deal worth at least $100 million, if not more.

San Diego has money to spend, even though Spotrac says it's been predicted that the team has passed over the second luxury tax bracket.

If the Padres are serious about becoming a competitor, this is the time to invest in talent like Keuchel, while their farm system produces talent. If San Diego can develop a team with young talent and veteran free agents, San Diego may become a threat to claim their division.

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