A second consecutive year of slow movement in free agency led to Manny Machado lingering on the open market and several teams becoming involved or re-entering the sweepstakes.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were said to have had minimal, if any, interest in re-signing Machado. But his list of reported suitors at one point grew to include the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies.
The White Sox and Phillies reportedly pursued Bryce Harper as well, with Philadelphia having grand visions to potentially sign both superstars. The San Diego Padres began to pursue to Machado as he remained a free agent in late January.
They completed a stunner nearly one month later, signing Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract. While the pairing seemed a bit improbable, Machado raved about the Padres organization and the opportunity to sign with them, via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:
“I liked the game plan, from ownership to front office to the coaching staff to the players,” Machado said. “The whole ‘shabam’ was so perfect.”
“Would be a dream come true to play with family,” Machado said. “Things happen. Very blessed to be in this position. Very blessed to have an opportunity at both (teams)…I’m proud to be a Padre. At the end of the day this is where I wanted to be, and I’m very happy to be here.”
Although Machado had long maintained his preference was to play shortstop, he is accepting a move to third base with the Padres. That will allow for the team to play top prospect Fernando Tatis at shortstop.
San Diego has a farm system flush with talent, which may pair well with Machado within the next few years.