Despite the threats of snow and natural cold weather this time of year until Spring, baseball season has begun with MLB teams opening up their training camps during this past week. But two of baseball’s biggest free agents, Many Machado and Bryce Harper, were without an official team contract until Feb. 19 when Machado agreed to play for the San Diego Padres for $390 million—a 10 year, $30 million per annum deal. Until Harper signs on with one of the other 29 teams, this looks to be the biggest deal ever agreed to in the history of Major League Baseball and in the history of American sports.
An official announcement of the signing is being scheduled, pending his physical. The deal includes an opt-out clause after the fifth season and contains a limited no-trade clause.
Machado, 26, a Dominican-American third baseman, is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers making $16 million last season after being traded from the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles brought Machado into the Major Leagues in 2012 after two years in the minors and traded him last year to the Dodgers when they realized that they wouldn’t be able to re-sign him when his contract expired. Machado has a .282 lifetime batting average. He hit 175 home runs and has 513 RBIs.
Last season, Machado finished with 37 home runs, 107 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. In the 66 regular-season games that he played with Los Angeles, he batted .273, 13 homers, 42 RBIs. The Orioles traded him in mid-July.
The Padres finished last in their National League West division last year, 66-and-96 with the second worst NL record behind the Florida Marlins. They’ve missed the playoffs for the past 12 seasons.
“He’s a guy we’d love to have, and I think it changes things pretty quickly if we do have him here,” said first baseman Eric Hosmer, excited about having a player like Machado on their roster. Hosmer signed with the Padres last year for $144 million, for eight years.
Machado made headlines in October during the playoffs for not hustling on a play to first base, and the comments that he made explaining himself thereafter.
“I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle’ and run down the line and slide to first base,” said Machado. “That’s just not my personality. That’s not my cup of tea. That’s not who I am.”
Machado did admit that he should’ve run, but he didn’t. “I gotta pay the consequences for it,” recognizing that his lack of hustle made him look bad.