Machado Heads West: Star Infielder Signs Record Free Agent Deal with Padres


Courtesy of @si_mlb.

Jeff Lombardi Jr., Sports Editor

The wait is over. 114 days after playing his final game for Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series, infielder Manny Machado has a new home.

On Tuesday the 26 year-old infielder signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. The deal is the largest free agent contract in American sports history. The deal includes an opt-out after the fifth year (2023).

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Chicago White Sox had an offer in place for Machado that was worth $250 million over eight years. The deal reportedly included incentives that would push the value of the deal above $300 million.

Machado spent the first 6 1/2 years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, before being dealt mid-season to the eventual National League champion, Los Angeles Dodgers.

After what was considered a down year for Machado’s standards in 2017, Machado returned to all-star form last season, hitting .297 with 37 home runs and 108 RBI between the two clubs. Over the course of his career he has been named to four all-star teams, while winning a pair of gold glove awards at third base. He placed top five in the American League MVP vote in both 2015 and 2016.

For San Diego, the deal for Machado comes just one year after they signed first baseman Eric Hosmer to the most lucrative free agent deal in franchise history: an eight year deal worth $144 million. It has been 20 years since the club’s last postseason series win. San Diego has not made made the postseason since winning back-to-back NL West division titles in 2005-2006.

Although it is entirely too early to evaluate the deal, Machado will likely continue to draw comparisons to Alex Rodriguez who signed a 10-year, $252 million contract after his age 24 season. At that point in his career Rodriguez had played in 790 games over seven seasons with a .309 batting average along with 189 home runs and 595 RBI. In comparison, Machado has played in 962 games over seven seasons with a .282 batting average, 175 home runs and 513 RBI.