With Corey Seager missing a majority of the 2018 season due to injury, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade with the Baltimore Orioles before the deadline to acquire Manny Machado.
Machado had his ups and downs in his short time with the Dodgers, but with Seager due back in 2019, it was unlikely from the beginning of the winter that the club would offer Machado the long-term contract he desired in free agency.
A handful of other teams showed plenty of interest in the four-time All-Star though, most notably the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox. The San Diego Padres were late entrant, and they also were linked to Bryce Harper.
As position players have reported for Spring Training, Machado has finally made his decision as according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, he has agreed to sign with the Padres:
BREAKING: Free agent star Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 19, 2019
During an interview on SportsCenter in the minutes after reporting the agreement, Passan received Machado is signing a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. To date, it’s now the biggest contract signed by a free agent in American sports history.
Per Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Machado’s deal includes an opt out after the fifth year:
Opt out in Machado deal is after the fifth year.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) February 19, 2019
In 66 regular-season games with the Dodgers, Machado hit .273/.338/.487 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI. Overall in 162 games on the season between the Dodgers and Orioles, Machado had a career year. He batted .297/.367/.538 with a career-high 37 home runs and 107 RBI.
The White Sox were not secretive in their courtship of the 26-year-old, trading for Machado’s brother-in-law Yonder Alonso and signing a good friend of his, Jon Jay, to help make themselves more appealing. They also were said to have made a substantial contract offer but that proved to be futile.
Machado joins an interesting scenario with the Padres as they are not viewed as contenders in the National League West but have an intriguing young nucleus.