Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres have reach an agreement on a contract, per multiple reports, with the free agent infielder reportedly getting $300 million over 10 years with an opt out after year five, in what is the biggest free agent contract in MLB history.
Machado, 26, was the #3 overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Baltimore Orioles, where he emerged as a star and spent his entire career before a July, 2018, trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has been an elite defensive third baseman, but played mostly shortstop last year, and it remains to be seen whether San Diego will play him at shortstop (where he reportedly prefers to play) or third base (where his glove plays better).
Machado had a 5.7 bWAR season in 2018, and has three other seasons where he put up between 6.7 and 7.1 bWAR. He likely projects to be one of the ten or so best players in baseball over the next half-decade, and the Padres, with a bad major league team in 2018 but a great farm system, have a legitimate superstar to build around.
Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies, who were also pursuing Machado, will be turning their attention to free agent outfielder Bryce Harper. Harper has been rumored to be likely to land in Philadelphia, but with Machado now off the board, things should come into focus with him quickly.
As for the Texas Rangers, Machado is the guy I said the team should back up the truck for, and while I’m leery of player opt-outs, 10/$300 million for Machado with an opt-out after year five is a deal I would have been in favor of Texas doing. The Rangers never seemed to get involved with Machado, and whether that’s because ownership didn’t want to spend, or because they felt Machado wanted to play shortstop and Texas didn’t want to move Elvis Andrus to third base, or because they had makeup concerns, or some other reason, there’s no telling. Chris Woodward was with the Dodgers in 2018 and thus spent time with Machado, and if he had an opinion one way or the other about him, he presumably would have let the front office know.