After spending eight years in the Baltimore Orioles organization, plus a couple months in Los Angeles, former O’s superstar Manny Machado is heading to San Diego on a record-breaking contract
After a long, trying offseason during which MLB’s biggest free-agents by name remained unsigned heading into spring training, news finally broke yesterday involving former Baltimore Orioles’ third-baseman Manny Machado.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Machado signed a record-breaking contract with the San Diego Padres for 10 years, worth $300 million dollars.
While Giancarlo Stanton‘s 13-year, $325 million dollar extension with the Miami Marlins remains the highest dollar amount in MLB history, Machado’s 10/$300 becomes the biggest contract ever signed by an MLB free-agent.
During his time with the Baltimore Orioles, Machado was one of the most polarizing players in baseball. He was loved and appreciated in the city of Baltimore, and was despised by the majority of remaining MLB fans due to his perceived work ethic and his aggressive outbursts on the field.
Machado is no slouch when it comes to drama on the diamond. He’s had beef with many players in MLB, most notably (in my mind) with Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox.
Machado’s antics continued after he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline in 2018, creating issues in the NLCS after running through Brewers’ first-baseman Jesus Aguilar after a ground-out. It was clearly on purpose and done out of frustration, but Manny’s gonna Manny.
Whatever his on-field antics may have drummed up, and whatever people think of his attitude and work ethic, there’s no denying that Machado is a superstar talent and is one of the best players Orioles’ fans have been privileged to watch over the past two decades.
His numbers speak for themselves. Machado is a four-time All-Star with two American League Gold Glove awards and two top-five AL MVP finishes.
He’s a career .282/.335/.487 hitter coming off four-straight 30+ homer seasons, and has been worth at least 6.0 fWAR in three of the last four years. His defense declined after moving back to shortstop last year, though that’s not entirely unexpected after he spent the better part of the previous six years primarily as a third-baseman.
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He’ll likely be a third-baseman in San Diego as well, as the Padres have two extremely talented young infielders in Luis Urias (21-years-old) and Fernando Tatis Jr.(20), who by all accounts will take the second-base and shortstop roles, respectively.
While Machado is joining a Padres team that won just 66 games last year, the farm system in San Diego is one of the best in baseball and their window of contention should be opening up in the near future. By signing Machado, the Padres are only doing themselves a favor by opening that window a bit earlier than could’ve been expected.
Is the next move for the Padres to pursue superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, or pitcher Dallas Keuchel? After signing Machado, the Padres will still be roughly $50-$60 million dollars under the 2019 Competitive Balance Tax limit, leaving enough room for another major free-agent addition.
While the Padres’ window is about to open in a big way, the Baltimore Orioles’ window remains firmly closed and Mike Elias is busy trying to find a way to unlock it. We’ll cheer for Manny when he comes back to Baltimore, which funny enough will be late in June.
The Orioles will host the Padres for a two game series, on June 25th and 26th. We’ll be getting tickets, and we’ll be cheering for Machado even though he’s moved on from the Orioles. Will you?