Baseball powerhouse Manny Machado is signing the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports Tuesday, joining the San Diego Padres for a whopping $300 million.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report that Machado, 26, would be joining the Padres Followed by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand’s confirmation that the $300 million deal is for 10 years with a fifth-season opt-out. (Both journalists credited each other for their scoops in an accordingly sportsman-like manner.)
The great @JeffPassan was first to report Machado to the Padres.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 19, 2019
Manny Machado's deal, as @Feinsand first reported, is for 10 years and $300 million with an opt-out after the fifth season.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 19, 2019
A monumental deal -- the single biggest free agent contract in American sports history.
And now every eye in baseball turns to Bryce Harper. His move.
Although the Padres owners have yet to officially confirm the deal, sports reporters conjecture that they are waiting for the contract’s language—rather than the financial sum—to be finalized. Co-owner Peter Seidler told media Tuesday that the Padres’ aim to “completely change” the team’s history of never getting a championship.
“We want our franchise to win year after year after year,” he said, according to MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell. “And we’re going to do whatever we can rationally do to help make that happen.”
This likely is semantics. Machado has not passed a physical and the two sides have not finalized language. But they are in agreement on financial terms. https://t.co/j4kcZZBRg1— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 19, 2019
Owners Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler addressed the media moments ago. They couldn’t confirm the Machado deal, but here’s what Seidler had to say: pic.twitter.com/mL6cWf0cvh— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) February 19, 2019
Machado is a four-time All-Star who spent six-and-a-half years playing for the Baltimore Orioles before getting traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers part way last season when he hit .297, 37 home runs, and 107 RBIs. For contrast, MLB.com notes the Padres haven’t had a player hit more than 30 runs in a season since Adrian Gonzalez in 2010.
News of Machado’s trade reached other teams who’d been courting the player the same way it reached much of the rest of the baseball world: Twitter.
Chicago White Sox Executive Vice President Kenny Williams found out from a tweet, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. Though Williams reportedly thought that the White Sox had a chance to get Machado as early as Tuesday morning, he noted that the team couldn’t offer the same financial package.
Williams: "We all in that clubhouse talked about it this morning. We felt like we actually potentially could close a deal today with him."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) February 19, 2019
Ken Williams said he thought the Sox had a chance for a deal with Machado as early as today. Said Jerry Reinsdorf really stepped up. But Padres ultimately trumped them.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) February 19, 2019
Williams on the Padres going to $300 million: "That level wasn't feasible to us because we still have to project putting together a total winning roster and keeping the young players that will ultimately earn into greater dollars themselves."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) February 19, 2019
While this is the biggest free agent deal to date, some calculated that it would be less than Alex Rodriguez’s $252 million 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000 if you adjusted it for inflation—which Action Network’s Darren Rovell calculated to be $368 million today.
When adjusting for inflation, Manny Machado’s $300 million deal would not be close to the MLB free agent record. The $252 million A-Rod received in 2000 is worth $368 million in today’s dollars.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 19, 2019
Although it’s the largest free-agent deal in sports history, the AP reported it will be the second-largest in baseball history after Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlin’s $325 million, 13-year deal in 2015.