On Tuesday, the San Diego Padres and star third baseman Manny Machado agreed to an 11-year, $350 million contract, according to multiple reports. The deal is the largest free-agent contract in the history of Major League Baseball and the largest in American sports history, surpassing the 13-year, $325 million contract that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014.
Machado, 26, is coming off a 2018 season in which he hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs, split between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner.
The Padres have been in the market for a big-name free agent for several years, and Machado is the first major signing since the team hired new general manager A.J. Preller in 2014.
The Padres have been building a young core of talent over the last few years, and Machado’s signing could be the final piece of the puzzle. With Machado in the fold, the Padres now have one of the most talented lineups in baseball, featuring young stars such as Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers, and Eric Hosmer.
The signing of Machado also signals a shift in the Padres’ strategy. The team has been focused on building from within in recent years, but this move shows that the team is now willing to invest in a proven star.
The Padres are hoping that the signing of Machado will help the team make a run at a playoff spot in 2019. With the addition of Machado, the Padres now have one of the most talented lineups in baseball, and the team is in position to make a serious push for the playoffs.
Only time will tell if the signing of Machado will pay off for the Padres, but one thing is for sure: the team is now a legitimate contender in the National League West.