OK, it’s not cartel money.
But infield slugger and most-wanted MLB free agent Manny Machado has agreed to a new contract with the sad-sack San Diego Padres.
It will pay him $300 million over the next 10 years — GUARANTEED. The largest free agent contract in history, surpassing Alex Rodriguez’ $275 million ten-year Yankees deal in 2008.
Not bad for the 6-3, 26-year-old Dominican who went 15 for 66 in last fall’s playoffs and not one extra-base hit in 22 World Series at-bats for his Dodgers, who fell to that Boston team in only five games.
However to be fair, the four-time All Star has been quite successful in his first seven seasons. His 168 home runs since 2013 put him 13th in MLB and ninth with 203 doubles, which helped the Dodgers reach the Series last fall after his trade from Baltimore.
Apparently, there was quite some competition during his 113 days of free agency. Machado’s first choice was reportedly the N.Y. Yankees, but that team never made him an offer. The Phillies looked competitive, but balked at Machado’s desire to guarantee the entire deal.
Chicago’s White Sox went all out by hiring two of his best friends, setting up his spring training locker already and offering $250 million over eight years.
But Machado wanted to be close to the San Diego Zoo. Just kidding! San Diego’s completely guaranteed contract was the deal-maker.
Early online consensus was that San Diego made a smart deal, tying him up for the long-term as the Padres organization rebuilds its pitching staff and constructs a more competitive team from the ranks of its top-notch farm system.
San Diego won but 66 games last season.
Next, everyone waits to see how much more Washington’s left-fielder Bryce Harper, the other high-priced free agent, will get now that Machado has set this year’s free-agent market.