The Manny Machado sweepstakes is over, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting that the San Diego Padres signed the superstar shortstop to a 10-year, $300 million deal on Tuesday.
If made official, the contract would be the largest free agent contract in the history of American sports, and one of the largest contracts of any kind in baseball history.
Machado Becomes One of MLB’s Highest Paid Players
Giancarlo Stanton infamously signed a $325 million, 13-year deal with the Miami Marlins during the 2014-15 offseason. However, that was an extension of an existing contract. Machado’s new agreement would outpace two 10-year free agent contracts signed by Alex Rodridguez during his career, which were worth $252 million and $275 million respectively.
While the deal is particularly notable for being so long, it will also make Machado one of the highest paid players in baseball on an annual basis. At $30 million per year, his contract is equal to that of Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, and behind only Zack Greinke ($34.4 million), David Price ($31 million), Clayton Kershaw ($31 million) and Miguel Cabrera ($31 million).
Passan cited sources saying that the agreement was made pending a physical for Machado, and that there is an opt-out clause after the fifth season.
“It’s exciting to be able to add a star, somebody like that in the middle of the lineup,” Padres outfielder Wil Myers told ESPN on Tuesday. “I think it lengthens the lineup for us, makes everyone around us better…anytime you can add a player of that caliber to your team, you do it.”
Padres Beat Out White Sox, Phillies
The 26-year-old Machado spent the entirety of his first six years in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles. Last season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he helped the team make a run to the World Series.
Machado is a four-time All-Star. Last season, he played a combined 162 regular season games for his two teams, hitting .297 with 37 homers and 107 RBIs.
Several teams had been aggressively pursuing Machado’s services, including the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. The team that appeared to be the most disappointed at not landing the shortstop, however, was the Chicago White Sox.
“I’m wearing my shades, so you can’t see the shock in my eyes,” White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams told reporters at spring training in Arizona on Tuesday. “I honestly believe we had the best offer on the table.”
The move will give San Diego a much needed power bat. Other than Myers, who hit 30 home runs in 2017, no Padre has reached that total in the past four seasons. Machado has hit at least 33 homers in each of the past four years.
Oddsmakers took note of the signing, though it didn’t immediately turn San Diego into a contender. At the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the Padres win total on the season moved up two wins to 78.5, while their odds of winning the World Series were shortened from 80/1 to 50/1.
Where Will Harper Land?
The signing of Machado leaves Bryce Harper’s decision on where to sign as the last remaining major domino to fall this offseason. Several teams, including the Padres, have expressed interest in the 26-year-old outfielder, with many MLB analysts believing that the Philadelphia Phillies have the inside track on signing Harper.