SAN DIEGO (CBSNewYork/AP) — The super-rich New York Yankees were never going to pay Manny Machado megabucks over a decade or more.
The small market San Diego Padres, however? That’s apparently a different story.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that All-Star infielder Machado has agreed to a $300 million, 10-year deal with the rebuilding Padres, the biggest contract ever for a free agent.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced. Machado can opt out after five years and become a free agent again, the person said.
Machado’s deal, if completed, would be the second-largest in baseball history behind Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million, 13-year deal signed with the Miami Marlins ahead of the 2015 season.
Speaking at spring training in Peoria, Arizona, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said: “We do not have a deal with any free agent player. We are continuing discussions, and that’s all we have to say.”
Teams draw a distinction between an agreement subject to a physical and a finalized deal.
San Diego is making a stunning move early in spring training for the second straight year after reaching a $144 million, seven-year contract last February with first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Padres, who have been rebuilding with prospects, have not had a winning season since 2010, and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006 and have never won the World Series.
Machado is expected to fill the team’s gaping need at third base. He began last year with Baltimore, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the All-Star break and struck out to end the World Series loss to Boston.
Machado visited the Yankees in December as part of his initial free agency tour, but negotiations on a contract never really gained traction. While many believe Machado wanted to play in the Bronx, the Bombers opted to stay away from him and superstar free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, who remains unsigned. The popular explanation is the Yankees simply didn’t want to add another long-term, big-money contract to a roster that is expected to challenge the 2019 luxury tax threshold of $206 million.
The Yanks will begin the season with Miguel Andujar, last year’s AL Rookie of the Year runner-up, at third base and have solidified their infield with the signings of free agents Troy Tulowitzki and D.J. LeMahieu.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)